Mo-tivated Mark clips lush upper-lip growth for cause
Manufacturers say consumers’ wish to eat healthier is already driving change
Food and drink makers say they are already working hard to offer New Zealanders healthier food choices. The statement follows Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s warning that the industry needs to cut down on sugar and salt in products and that “all options are on the table”, including a sugary drinks tax.
Ardern yesterday reiterated new Health Minister David Clark’s position in not ruling out regulation or a tax.
“Industry should know we are pretty serious about making sure this is dealt with,” Ardern told Newstalk ZB. “We know we have got a problem. And I think people would be surprised by how much sugar is being placed in everyday items.”
Ardern said a sugary drinks tax Losing three colleagues to suicide and his dad to cancer motivates Mark Hill-Rennie to get rid of his signature moustache every November.
Blokes all around the world will begin to sport a hairy top lip as Movember kicks off again tomorrow in an effort to raise awareness about men’s health issues.
As others work on growing theirs out, Hill-Rennie will get rid of his moustache so he can start afresh.
This will be the 10th year in a row ANZ’s regional business banking manager for Auckland East has shaved off his moustache for the cause.
“By doing this I’m raising awareness for some pretty important issues like mental health,” he said.
It was a cause close to his heart after attending the funerals of three colleagues who had taken their own lives in recent years.
“That gives me an incentive to keep going with it. On the cancer side, you just see so many men and women impacted by it, including my father who passed away from it.”
While it was neither testicular nor prostate cancer which claimed his father’s life, it showed how much of an impact it had on families, he said. “It does just raise your aware-
HWatch video at nzherald.co.nz was not the only answer, given the high sugar content across other processed foods.
“We want to work with industry to try and get that rate of use down. Try and encourage industry to do that themselves. But we are leaving all options on the table.
“We are making sure we use some of the options that still exist before considering a sugary drinks tax. There are examples in the UK where they got salt down dramatically by working alongside industry. We ness around the whole thing.”
Hill-Rennie said his children had never known him without a moustache and hated it when it came off every year.
“It’s getting greyer and greyer every year,” he said. “I do get some nice comments like, ‘It makes you look miles younger’. It will come back on again.”
Over the years he has raised more than $18,400 for the Movember Foundation, with $1120 of that this year already. His target this time is to raise $5000.
All funds raised will go towards programmes focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male mental health.
Movember’s New Zealand manager, Robert Dunne, said should make use of those options.”
But the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council’s chief executive, Katherine Rich, says members are guided by consumers’ choices and are already reformulating products and developing new ones to reflect an appetite for healthier foods.
“The No 1 consumer trend over the past five years has been for food and drinks that are lower in salt, fat or sugar, or in a ‘better for you’ category.
“There are more low- or no-sugar products on the market now than at any time in New Zealand’s history, and the work continues, with sugarreduction programmes for current products and new product development.”
She said the council looked forward to sharing its success stories with the new Government.
“The reformulation work has not just been for sugar. In the breakfast cereal and bread categories there have also been significant Mark Hill-Rennie is doing Movember a 10th time — backwards. He has a moustache and shaves it off. every bit of support helped stop men suffering in silence. One in two Kiwis would experience a mental-health problem, while three in four suicides were men, he said.
Globally, a man is lost to suicide every minute. In New Zealand, one man takes his life every day on average.
“When it comes to their health, too many men don’t talk, don’t take action and die too young,” Dunne said.
“The programmes and projects Movember funds and delivers are aimed at helping build a society where men are living long, quality lives . . .”
He urged men to “grow a mo to save a bro”. Mo Sistas could also take part through Move, which involved getting physically active to raise funds to support their men. Go to the Movember Foundation website nz.movember.com to sign up or to support someone. reductions in sodium.”
Clark earlier said his preference was to work with the industry to develop a better front-of-pack labelling system, and to set firm goals to reduce sugar content in packaged food.
Clark said there was “growing evidence” of the effectiveness of a sugary drink tax, but such a step wasn’t a silver bullet because it was focused only on drinks.
“I want to talk with industry first before going down any track like that.”
One likely change will be to labelling on food packaging. At present there is a Health Star Rating System that is meant to signal healthiness by the number of stars on the packet.
Clark believes there is a flaw in the voluntary system, in which manufacturers can “cancel out” the effect added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients have on a star rating if the product contains healthier ingredients such as grains.
But Rich said the Food & Grocery Council hoped the Ministry for Primary Industries would brief Clark on how the Health Star algorithm works.
“Advice that he’s received, that the system ‘cancels out’ sugar, is not correct. In fact, it’s harsh on sugar content. It’s important to understand that some products will continue to have a higher sugar rating, particularly when they contain fruit or honey.”
Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland Boyd Swinburn said Labour was right not to rule out tough action including a sugary drinks tax.
“It is actually very refreshing to see a Government that is prepared to look at the evidence and look at every possibility that’s on the table that’s been recommended,” Swinburn said. “So this is a breath of fresh air.”
David Clark Katherine Rich