Hāpai Te Hauora is encouraging whānau to go 'fizz free' this summer by launching #FizzFreeWhānau on New Year's Day 2017. This campaign supports whānau to become more informed about the risks of regular consumption of sugary drinks and to choose other alternatives such as water or milk in place of 'fizz' for the month of January. "We hope that the campaign will catch on and extend beyond people's New Year's resolutions, but we know that it’s not easy to change behaviours which might have been habit for a long time" says Lance Norman CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora. "We want to promote sustainable change which is why we're starting with the month of January. We want to capture everyone's attention while they're at the beach and spending time with whānau so mokopuna, mums, dads, grandparents and cousins can all support each other to make healthy choices."
"There is an increasing body of evidence which points to the harm caused by Sugary Drinks and their relationship to obesity and oral health issues" says Dr Lance O'Sullivan, Specialist Advisor to Hāpai Te Hauora. "Our Māori and Pacific whānau are particularly affected with higher rates of obesity compared to other ethnic groups in Aotearoa. According to the most recent New Zealand Health Survey 15% of Māori children and 30% of Pasifika children are obese compared with 11% of the general population. With this in mind it's so important that our we get creative to support whānau, and particularly our tamariki, to cut down on sugary drink consumption at home".
Hāpai Te Hauora endorsed a recent consensus statement on sugary drinks by the New Zealand Dental Association. Dr Rob Beaglehole from the NZDA says the Association is pleased to see other consensus partners promoting the sugary drink free message. "We support Hāpai Te Hauora's efforts to reduce whānau consumption of sugary drinks this summer. It's going to take a combined effort and a range of interventions to make meaningful change to reverse the damage caused by sugary drinks in New Zealand".