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Table 1 Prioritized recommendations of expert panels from 2014, 2017 and 2020 to improve the food environment

From: Implementing healthy food environment policies in New Zealand: nine years of inaction

2014 2017 2020
Implement a comprehensive national action plan for obesity and NCD prevention Strengthen the Childhood Obesity Plan including policy objectives and targets to reduce obesity prevalence and inequalities, and more and stronger policies to create healthy children’s food environments and increasing funding for the implementation and evaluation of the plan The government develops a long-term, multisectoral national food systems and nutrition strategy with clear outcomes and indicators to improve sustainability, food sovereignty, health and equity, and to honour the rights of Māori to the protection of their health under the Te Tiriti o Waitangia
The government appoints a food and nutrition scientific committee to work with the ministerial science advisors to ensure policies related to food and nutrition are evidence-based and equitable
The government ensures that the implementation plans for existing, relevant government actions, such as the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, include priorities to improve food environments, beyond the Healthy Active Learning
   The government supports low-income households so they can afford a healthy diet
Set priorities in statements of intent and set targets for:
Reducing childhood and adolescent obesity
Reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat intake
Food composition (salt and saturated fat) in key food groups
Set targets for:
Reducing childhood overweight and obesity by 8 percentage points (from one third to one quarter) by 2025 with decreasing inequalities
Reducing mean population intake of salt, sugar and saturated fat based on WHO recommendations
Voluntary reformulation of composition (salt, sugar and saturated fat) in key food groups
The government adopts a two-tier system for reducing sodium and added sugar in key food categories: setting mandatory maximum levels that reduce over time, and setting and monitoring targets for voluntary reductions in sales-weighted averages
Increase funding for population nutrition promotion, doubling it to at least $70 million/year Increase funding for population nutrition promotion to at least 10% of obesity/overweight healthcare costs  
Reduce the promotion of unhealthy foods to children and adolescents by:
Restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and adolescents through broadcast and non-broadcast media
Ensuring that schools and early childhood education services are free of commercial promotion of unhealthy foods
Regulate unhealthy food marketing, as defined by the WHO nutrient profiling model, to children up to 18 years
In broadcast media, including during children’s peak viewing times (e.g. up to 9 pm)
In non-broadcast media, including food packaging, sports sponsorship and social media
In children’s settings, including “school food zones”
The government introduces regulations to restrict unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children up to 18 years old through broadcast media (during peak TV viewing times), non-broadcast media (including food packaging, sport sponsorship and digital media) and in children's settings, using the WHO nutrient profiling models, tailored to the New Zealand context
Ensure that food provided in or sold by schools and early childhood education services meets dietary guidelines Ensure healthy foods in schools and early childhood education services using the updated Ministry of Health Food and Beverage Classification System The government requires and supports schools and early childhood education services to develop food policies which ensure healthy foods are provided and promoted
Implement the front-of-pack Health Star Rating labelling system Strengthen the Health Star Rating system by urgently addressing anomalies in the design algorithm (especially for sugar), increasing funding for promotion and making it mandatory if there is not widespread uptake by 2019 The government makes the Health Star Rating mandatory and adopts the recommendations on changes to the algorithm and beverages of the 5-year review of the Health Star Rating system
Introduce an excise tax of at least 20% on sugar-sweetened beverages Introduce a substantial (e.g. 20%) tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and explore using the revenue for programmes to improve public health and well-being The government introduces a tiered industry levy of at least 20% on sugary drinks and recycles the revenue for programmes to improve public health and well-being
  Implement the new Eating and Activity Guidelines by increasing funding for their promotion and translating them for New Zealand’s social, environmental and cultural contexts The government actively implements and increases funding to promote Eating and Activity Guidelines which incorporate the social, environmental and cultural dimensions of eating
  Conduct a new national nutrition survey for children within 3 years and institute a plan for future regular adult and children nutrition surveys The government conducts a new national nutrition survey for children and adults to be commissioned by 2021
The government regularly monitors the food environment for health, equity and sustainability
   The government expands its conflict of interest procedures to include commercial conflicts and transparency measures so that consultation with the food industry can continue without it exerting undue influence on government policy development
  1. Bolded text indicates recommendations for which the government has made progress
  2. aTe Tiriti o Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. It is an agreement made between representatives of the British Crown and Māori Rangatira (chiefs)