New report finds 'slow progress' on obesity, binge drinking

A sugary soft drink.
A sugary soft drink. Photo credit: File

A new report shows while the Government's anti-smoking push is working, it's making "slow progress" on other serious health concerns.

The Ministry of Health report shows New Zealand could cut health loss by around 30 percent if issues like obesity and smoking are addressed.

Professor Nick Wilson from Otago University says easy steps can be taken to help reduce the likes of obesity.

"Consumers can get the health benefits of lower blood pressure and less risk of heart attacks and strokes without even noticing the change in the taste of their food, for example," he said.

Prof Wilson said the Government is making headway on making New Zealand a smoke-free nation, but other areas have fallen behind.

"It's been much slower on making a sort of healthy food environment, especially for children, and its possibly made slow progress on improving alcohol control and reducing heavy drinking and binge drinking," he said.

The ministry says its focus is on promoting healthier lifestyles.