As the spotlight in New Zealand's obesity battle is put on sports clubs, The Country's Sam "Lashes" Casey argues it's not the pies and hot chips after the kids' rugby game causing the problem.

In this week's episode of "Lashing Out", Casey discusses the issue of rising obesity rates in our kids and says rather than pointing the finger at our sports clubs, we need to acknowledge the problem really sits with parents.

Following on from comments made by University of Otago professor of Public Health, Louise Signal, Casey argues: "Kids are overweight because their parents have made choices, it's seriously that simple."

The research looked at food sold at sporting events and found 68 per cent of what's on the menu at netball venues and 62 per cent sold at rugby venues is unhealthy.


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Fizzy drinks, chocolate, chips and other fried foods were the most common foods sold.
Professor of Public Health, Louise Signal, says something has to change.

"We see lollies and fizzy and we should be replacing them with oranges and water."

Signal is calling on the Ministers for Sport and Health to help sports clubs implement healthy nutrition policies.

"We have to make a change because our obesity epidemic amongst our children is very severe," she says.

"We've got a third of our kids overweight and obese. They're going to go on to struggle with their weight throughout their lives."

Signal says while New Zealand has a high level of participation in sporting activities, which is really good for our health and wellbeing, "we don't want it to be undone by a diet of junk food."

However Casey disagrees and says that while school tuck shops changing to provide more healthy options is a good thing, sports stadiums and sporting clubs should be left alone.

"Kids aren't fat because they have a pie or fizzy after weekend sport or as a treat at the rugby, kids are fat because of their eating habits period. So stop blaming the sports clubs and stadiums who are just trying to make it easy and make a buck."


Sam Casey is on The Country with Jamie Mackay and Rowena Duncum, weekdays 12-1pm on Radio Sport, Hokonui and Newstalk ZB