Chocolate fundraising faces chop by Government advisor

A newly appointed Government nutrition advisor is calling for a ban on selling chocolate for school fundraisers, due to our skyrocketing child obesity levels. 

Professor Grant Schofield is the Ministry of Education's first Chief Education Health and Nutrition Advisor, elected to the role earlier this month. 

He's aiming to tackle child obesity, which he says is a serious issue threatening the health of young New Zealanders. 

"This may be the first generation of humans where the kids will not live as long as their parents," Prof Schofield told Newshub. 

"The first thing is what we teach our kids about food." 

He said the issue is not a single bar of chocolate here and there, but instead when the sellers end up taking all the unsold chocolate home to eat. 

"Don't get me wrong, I like chocolate as much as the next person, but when you end up with 60 bars in your home - that's not occasional," he said.

"Chocolate for fundraisers is not really cutting it as far as I'm concerned. That situation is not okay."

Prof Schofield knows his stance would face controversy and he's willing to take on the feedback from those that might disagree. 

"I want robust discussion - I'll be wrong on some things and I'm willing to change my mind," he said. 

Education Minister Hekia Parata said with Prof Schofield's appointment as Health and Nutrition advisor, he will be able to strengthen what schools are offering students in the way of health and wellness. 

"Prof Schofield is one of New Zealand's top physical activity and nutrition experts. His appointment will build a much broader and more robust approach to the work already taking place across the education sector," she said.