Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Make the fatties walk

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Photo / Supplied

The suggestion from secondary school principals that dairies and fast food outlets be stopped from selling fatty foods and fizzy drinks during the hours students make their way to and from school has an air of desperation about it.

A report from Canterbury University has found fast food outlets are five and a half times more likely to be clustered around schools and three times more likely to be in poorer areas than rich.

Patrick Walsh, the Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand president, says schools are trying to do all they can by promoting healthy eating and stocking their canteens with the right foods - but that work is undone by dairy owners selling a pie and a can of Coke for $2.

He's predicting that there'll be an epidemic of obesity-type problems in 20 years that the taxpayer will have to pay for.

He suggested that in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake, fast food outlets near schools not be rebuilt, giving Canterbury schools a rare opportunity. It would be an interesting social experiment.

Of course it's individual choice and personal responsibility, but if kids had to walk 2km to get a fast food feed, at least they'd walk off some of the chips.

- Herald on Sunday

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