The Government has committed $35 million to a 10-year research project launched today to tackle child obesity in New Zealand.
The project named 'A Better Start' looks at what influences the eating and learning habits of children, and scientists say it may finally be the path to solving the issue.
"A third of our children in this country are overweight or obese, a third of our children are failing national standards for literacy when they start school and a third of our children have a mental health problem by the time they're 18," says Professor Wayne Cutfield.
"So these are very large, very complex problems that we are tackling."
It's one of 11 National Science Challenges put forward by the Government to find solutions to country-wide issues.