If it's fatty and sweet, we can't resist

If it’s fatty and sweet, we can’t resist [+audio]

Wednesday October 25, 2006
By Martin Johnston

New Zealanders’ love of burgers, chips and especially pizza just grows and grows - matching our waistlines.

Figures released by the Ministry of Health yesterday show how big the swing away from home cooking was in the five years to last year.

Revenue at supermarkets, grocery stores and dairies grew by 37 per cent, but the income of takeaway food shops rose by 67 per cent - nearly twice as much - to $1.02 billion.

This was matched by big rises in the number of takeaway outlets.

Although the number of supermarkets rose by 17 per cent, the number of take-out pizza joints jumped by 57 per cent and chicken takeaways by 33 per cent.

Last year New Zealand had 3524 takeaway food shops - and 6705 cafes and restaurants.

In 2003-04 the average household, comprising 2.7 people (adults and children), spent $19.20 of its weekly food budget of $142.50 on meals out.

Proportionally this was a rise of nearly 3 percentage points in three years. This average household also spent more on confectionery ($6.50) than on fresh fruit ($5.90).

Quoting the Restaurant Association, the ministry’s Food and Nutrition Monitoring Report 2006 offers a possible reason for the pizza proliferation. “Pizzas, with low food costs, can be produced by low-skilled staff and will continue steep growth.”

The association’s Foodservice Facts also comments on the pressure for chains to offer healthy foods.

“History suggests consumers will let their taste buds dictate and salads with a burger will be a ‘one-day wonder’.”

In a first, the ministry has bought information on advertising expenditure from ACNielsen Media Research showing that spending on fast-food chains, restaurants and cafes exceeded $67 million last year.

McDonald’s was highest in that category, at $21.4 million. Chocolate, confectionery and fizzy drinks attracted advertising spending of $57.3 million, nine times the $6.2 million on fruit and vegetables.

The report reveals a subtle but significant change in the ministry’s direction on obesity, nutrition and the food industry by providing the advertising figures and by raising questions, as it does, on matters such as the risks of food advertising to children, a battle long fought by public health campaigners.

Food marketing practices were not previously considered a core part of food and nutrition monitoring, the report says. But options for systematic monitoring were being explored and it would become central.

The report says the food industry has detailed information available to it on the impact of food marketing.

“But most of this information is not widely available because it is commercially sensitive and probably provides evidence that food advertising does increase sales.”

Obesity Action Coalition executive director Celia Murphy said the release of the advertising figures provided strong evidence that “we need to restrict the kinds of foods that can be advertised because it’s not the healthy foods that are being advertised”.

Weekly household food spending

  • Total: $142.50.
  • Meals out: $19.20.
  • Ready-to-eat foods: $17.70.
  • Confectionery: $6.50.
  • Fresh fruit: $5.90.
    Source: Ministry of Health (figures for an average household of 2.7 people in 2003-04)


I happened to have receipts in my wallet for Sunday and today so had a look at ours.

2 adults, 2 teens

Total bill = $249.52 ( a bit higher than normal)
Fresh fruit & vege = $83.56
Frozen fruit & vege $16.22
Total fruit & vege $99.78 (40% :eek: :slight_smile: )

btw that survey does not include that NZers spend around $9 on canned fruit and veg a week, therefore outweighing the amount they spend on confectionary.

Very healthy diet you have there :eek: My family’s is about $300 per week.

and I’m most of it is that crap in syrup :mad:

You’ll be aware of that healthy eating in schools policy, well my daughter is really pissed about it as 1 day a week she was allowed to buy her lunch as her treat and she would get a couple of sausage rolls, now they are vegeterian ones :eek: a 13 year old understanding self sacrifice for the greater good …yeah right :stuck_out_tongue: