Ōrākei Volcanoes take steps to curve obesity

By Talisa Kupenga

A Ngāti Whātua sports club has banned sugar drinks from its club in the wake of an obesity report that shows more than two thirds of Auckland's adults are obese.

Ōrākei Volcanoes Sports Club is teaching its children to make healthier drink choices.

Chairman of Ōrākei Volcanoes, Jamie Cook says, “In any of our fundraising events or our end of year prizegivings or any volcanoes' hui that we have we encourage it to be sugar free. So, no fizzys, no sugary juices, things like that so it's only wai Māori available for our tamariki."

The club wants to remove sugary drink options from the table.

Te Arohanui Hawke says, “Making the rule is the easy part, the challenge we face is helping our adults. You could say the sugar group learn how to make better choices. We thought we would start by teaching our children.”

A report released by Healthy Auckland Together shows that one in five Māori children are obese, and almost half of Māori adults are obese.

This is something this community wants to change.

Papa Nahi says, “We hope the report helps reduce obesity statistics for Māori and the wider Auckland communities, and helps instil healthier food and drink choices.”

For these Ōrākei Volcanoes children, the only drink on their lips is pure water.