Fighting obesity – new non-essential food list published

24 Feb 2012
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Researchers at the University of Otago, Christchurch, have developed a list of 49 ‘NEEDNT’ foods as part of a treatment research programme for obesity.

'The NEEDNT Food List: non-essential, energy-dense, nutritionally-deficient foods' was published in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal.

The list comprises common food names and, for some, suggests a healthier alternative. The primary purpose of the list  is to help obese people identify foods that are to be avoided in a healthy diet, eaten rarely as a treat or eliminated from their diet.

Lead author of the paper, Dr Jane Elmslie, emphasised 'The foods on this list are high in calories, and they are also low in essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals), or are able to be replaced by lower calorie more nutritious alternatives.'

With 63% of New Zealanders being overweight or obese, the NEEDNT list is one possible approach to help deal with this growing health issue.

See the full NEEDNT list and media release.