Much better than trying to ban things

October 14th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Natalie Akoorie in NZ Herald reports:

Analysis of a healthy eating and activity programme first tested in Waikato primary schools shows the project is saving taxpayer money and improving children’s lives.

The research findings show Project Energize will improve the health and quality of life of the 44,000 children involved.

The data, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed the prevalence of obesity among all children involved was 15 per cent less than for Waikato children not in the programme in 2004 and 2006.

Children participating in Project Energize could run 550m 10 per cent faster than children from another region and their body mass index was reduced by 3 per cent.

The project, where a team of 27 “energizers” train school teachers and children in healthy eating and activities across Waikato primary schools, began in 2004. The annual $2 million programme is funded by Waikato District Health Board and implemented by Sport Waikato.

Its success has seen the programme introduced to more schools in Franklin and Northland, and the Ministry of Health has committed $1.1 million to extend it to 100 preschools and 4000 more Waikato children. …

The programme cost around $45 a child, “less than the cost of one visit to a doctor”.

I like this programme for three reasons:

  • It is aimed at education, not taking away choice
  • It targets both physical activity and eating – not just food as the health n***s do
  • It is cost-effective

I’d much rather we focus on programmes like this than trying to ban pies in tuck shops, ban certain food outlets from certain areas, ban advertising, ban packaging etc etc.

10 Responses to “Much better than trying to ban things”

  1. Left Right and Centre (4,393 comments) says:

    15% better… can run a bit faster over 550m….. BMI was 3% less or some shit

    blah blah blah….. bollocks. I’d love to get down to brass tacks with all of those numbers…. which I’m sure themselves would suffer some form of numerical ‘obesity’.

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  2. cha (6,209 comments) says:

    Damn truth gets in the way.

    Obesity is not a disease Pretending otherwise will stoke an epidemic and crush the NHS


    The rate of people considered clinically obese has risen from around 1 to 2 per cent of the population in the 1960s to over 25 per cent now. Why? A simple answer would be lifestyle, but it’s actually a little more complicated. A fascinating survey conducted by the Department of Health compared data collected from 1967 and 2010. It showed that, while people back then were slimmer, they ate fattier foods and had access to far fewer gyms. We eat better now, we work out more. But we live relatively sedentary lives. Only three out of ten households had a car then, compared to seven out of ten now. While 75 per cent of people walked for at least half an hour a day in the 1960s, this is only about 40 per cent now.

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  3. wf (760 comments) says:

    ” We eat better now, we work out more.”

    Well, some do. They’re the ones who will need knee replacements later on in life. And need treatment for arthritis.

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  4. Longknives (6,402 comments) says:

    “I’d much rather we focus on programmes like this than trying to ban pies in tuck shops…”

    Let’s not forget the Greens want to ban the ‘sausage sizzle’ as a fundraiser also!
    Can you imagine your kid’s sports team fundraising outside the local supermarket with Lentils and mungbeans on the BBQ?
    Sorry no new uniforms or gear this year kids…

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  5. Camryn (518 comments) says:

    Longknives – Well, the kids could wear uniforms knitted out of unbleached hemp. It would last longer than the designed-to-fail artificial fibres used by multinational uniform conglomerates… and the uniforms could be recycled into compost when they eventually wear out! That said, I don’t actually think children will need sports uniforms in the green future as playing fields are a holocaust on local flora and fauna with all those pesticides, herbicides, mowing and so on. Playing fields will be converted into worm farms or rehabilited into Gaia’s care. Children can spend their Saturdays planting trees.

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  6. Dazzaman (1,184 comments) says:

    Good pisstake Camryn…

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  7. Dennis Horne (4,241 comments) says:

    With obesity and global warming mankind will melt into a big fat quivering candle. Or return to the sea, like the whales.

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  8. kiwi in america (2,686 comments) says:

    Superb Camryn

    The Greens’ exhaustive proposed ban list is a potent political weapon for National to bludgeon Labour/Greens with. Labour’s front bench knows the Greens are nutty but even if Cunliffe redresses the Labour/Greens vote mix with his race to the left, the fact is they need the Greens to govern. Clark faced an electoral equation in 1999, 2002 and even 2005 that gave Labour the overwhelming dominant hand in formulating a centre left coalition. She knew that she could get away with a confidence and supply agreement and a couple of safe greenish bones thrown at Donald and Fitzsimmons. Cunliffe would be negotiating from a position where the Labour percentage of a centre left block would be nothing like Labour had under Clark AND with a more canny ruthless political operator in Russell Norman.

    The banning of normal tuck shop food, sausage sizzles and fast food outlets near schools etc. is only the beginning of the Greens wish list. National needs to relentlessly track any and all Green MPs’ utterances on this subject. Even though the Greens will try very hard to suppress public discussion on the ban list, they are at the ideological heart of what they yearn to do in government and some will stray from the agreed spin. Such slips need to be recorded and replayed endlessly in the election campaign so that low information voters understand that a vote for Cunliffe is a vote for Green radical social engineering rammed down their throats.

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  9. Rufus (902 comments) says:

    What are “health n***s”?

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  10. ChardonnayGuy (1,605 comments) says:

    What on earth is wrong with good sensible primary healthcare designed to prevent later onstream spending related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other consequences that blow out the secondary health care budget when it comes to hospital bed occupancy, staff renumeration, pharmaceutical costs, medical equipment wear and tear etc. Sound like good fiscal conservative sense to me! 😉

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