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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK
Fat tax to cut Kiwi flab
Man
Half of all New Zealand adults are overweight
By Greg Ward in Auckland

Overweight New Zealanders who insist on eating fatty food might soon find their wallets are losing weight.

Some of the country's leading nutrition experts are calling for a new tax on fatty foods to help reduce the country's high levels of obesity.

New Zealand is a country proud of its sporting heritage and outdoor lifestyle, but a new study has shocking revelations about people's waistlines.

The report shows half of all New Zealand adults are overweight.

Unpopular idea

More than 1,000 people die each year from obesity - that's more than double the annual road death toll.

Scales
Making people feel bad is not the solution, say nutritionists
The report's authors include the Heart Foundation, diabetes experts and the Cancer Society. They are now recommending a special tax on sugary or fatty foods, and they want to see more information in cafeterias and restaurants.

The group says the current methods - making people feel bad about what they eat - are not particularly successful.

Not surprisingly, the recommendations have received a lukewarm response, at least on radio phone-ins.

Welfare groups say many low-income families rely on fast food because it is the cheapest available. They say a 'fat tax' will only penalise those who can least afford it.

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See also:

04 Jun 01 | Health
Too much variety 'makes you fat'
30 May 01 | Health
Obesity epidemic warning
24 May 01 | Health
New drug to beat obesity
17 May 01 | Health
Obesity link to cancer
30 Mar 01 | Health
Obesity 'starts in the womb'
15 Feb 01 | Health
Obesity rate triples
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