Tick still the right answer

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

Relevant offers

Health

Wheelchair forgotten when the music starts Anonymous donor funds rehab centre Fight for life to see daughter married Hospital fish tank costs $1000 a week Bid to deport ill toddler 'unduly harsh' Disabled people the world's fastest-growing minority Attitude Awards finalists: Recognising extraordinary talent No sight, but a keen ear for music Boy's plea for return of cancer beads Patient names included in presentation

Kiwis would gain an extra 0.7kg each year were it not for the Heart Foundation's tick, researchers say.

A University of Otago study has found the 22-year-old health initiative, designed to promote cardiovascular health, has improved the nation's diet.

"The tick programme is making small - but significant, when it's over a whole population - reductions in saturated fats, sodium and dietary energy," associate professor and study co-author Nick Wilson said.

The study shows, on average, that Kiwis eat 72 fewer kilojoules a day as result of the scheme. While small, this added up to roughly 0.7kg in weight gain over a year.

It also removed 1g of saturated fat and 38mg of salt from New Zealanders' diets every day. The average healthy diet has a daily maximum of 24g of saturated fat and 2300mg of salt.

"Those things will be helping reduce heart attacks and strokes in the New Zealand population. They're a good thing - these things add up over 4 million people and over a year."

Since the 1960s, heart disease has been decreasing in New Zealand and other developed countries. While fewer people smoking was one factor, researchers also believed schemes like tick had played a vital role.

Wilson said the study results highlighted the importance of food labelling.

"Not only should we be thinking about how we can make the tick programme more effective - a bigger tick might be better - but about what is the best design for food labels and 'traffic light'-type systems."

Earlier this year, the Government announced a voluntary five-star nutritional rating system. Some health experts have panned the plan, claiming it does not go far enough.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should fluoride in water be the responsibility of central government?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content