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Limit industry food policy input, scientists urge

New Zealand’s national nutrition policies have heavily favoured the position of the food industry at the expense of public health recommendations, according to a study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington.

The study examined submissions by the food industry and public health groups to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and matched them up with the 2007 Labour Government’s response to the committee’s recommendations and the resulting national nutrition policy.

Out of 19 recommendations in policy areas such as national obesity strategy, food industry regulation, regulation of marketing and advertising and school environments, the government followed the position of the food industry in 13 of the cases, the study found.

The researchers called for regulation of the food industry and for limits to industry involvement in the crafting of policy regulations, according to a university statement.