In brief: Health and fitness news


newsGet info on the latest news in health and fitness from around the world and in Aotearoa:

Kiwis toward top of obesity stats

A United Nations report released this month has shown that New Zealand and our across-the-ditch neighbours Australia have been named as two of the fattest countries in the developed world. We’re not far behind Mexico and the United States which head the list, and our obesity rates have tripled in the last decade.

Too many takeaways

A recent hospitality industry report from the Restaurant Association and the Auckland University of Technology has indicated that New Zealanders scoffed $1.5 billion worth of takeaways last year. Takeaway sales have grown a whopping 25% in the last four years; it’s no wonder we’re having obesity issues…

Fruit juice key ingredient in low-fat chocolate

A new chocolate making process has been developed by scientists at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom that replaces milk fat and cocoa butter with fruit juice (and apparently even maintains the traditional texture of chocolate – although it does have a fruity flavour).

This results in a chocolate containing half the fat content of standard chocolate, and has been hailed as the starting point for healthier chocolate confectionery.

Tip Top goes natural
Ice cream brand Tip Top has carried out extensive market research and has recently announced that only natural flavours and colours will be used in its products. Artificial alternatives have now been replaced with natural ingredients including paprika, spirulina and turmeric.

New phone app for fair weather outdoor exercisers

Love exercising outdoors in the morning but only if the weather is good? Created by Wellingtonian and avid cyclist/runner Christine Langdon, SunsUp is an innovative new mobile app that monitors the weather and wakes you up if the weather’s not too windy, rainy or cold (depending on the conditions you set).

“I’ve had so many days when I’ve set my alarm for 5.30am and woken up to hear wind and rain outside. But what’s worse is if I don’t set the alarm and wake up to find I’ve slept through a beautiful, still morning. I never want to miss those!,” says Christine. “I created SunsUp so I’d never sleep through a perfect morning – but could sleep in when the weather’s not so good.” This means that if the weather’s a dud in the morning you can sleep in instead then head down to the gym later!

Want to earn money while you’re asleep?

Getting a good night’s sleep is super important for your health and wellbeing. Bed manufacturer Sealy NZ is offering one lucky Kiwi an opportunity to earn at sleeping. The company is launching a nationwide promotion to find a sleep ambassador, someone who enjoys a settled snooze and is willing to keep a sleep journal, offer product feedback and blog about the experience.

The successful sleep ambassador will pick up a slumber package worth more than $10,000 including a top-of-the-range Sealy Posturepedic bed, linen from Wallace Cotton, an iPad and $100 a night for the month of September. The promotion is underway now at www.sealy.co.nz and closes on 12 August. Entrants must be at least 18 years old.

Parents cope better with modern life

A recent Massey University study reckons that parents are better at achieving a healthy work/life balance compared to those without children. Around 600 parents and 700 individuals without children were questioned about how well they balanced work and non-work commitments. 42% of the people without kids said they managed a satisfactory level of balance, while 52% of those with kids were happy with their level of balance.

Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – graur razvan ionut

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