Niki Bezzant, well-known health and nutrition commentator and editor-in-chief of NZ’s top-selling food magazine, Healthy Food Guide, has been announced as an Ambassador for Garden to Table.
Ms Bezzant is passionate about finding sustainable solutions to our childhood obesity crisis, with New Zealand ranked the third most obese country in the OECD. One in nine children in New Zealand is obese (11 per cent) – about 85,000. A further 22 per cent are overweight – about 170,000.
“The recent report from the World Health Organisation Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity is a blueprint for what we need to do. One of the things it emphasises is the importance of food education in the curriculum of formal child-care settings or institutions,” says Ms Bezzant.
Garden to Table is one of a number of non-government groups who are taking action. Their curriculum-integrated programme is offered in primary and intermediate schools and provides children with the knowledge and skills to grow, harvest, prepare and share good food.
“It’s an exciting programme that takes a long-term, sustainable approach to food education,” Ms Bezzant says. “It provides children with an opportunity to work in the garden and kitchen and shows them where good food comes from, how to grow it, and then how to cook and share it. I am proud to be an Ambassador.”
Catherine Bell is Chair and a founding trustee of Garden to Table. She is delighted that Ms Bezzant is supporting the programme. “Niki is well known for her sensible approach to food and nutrition, and she understands what we are aiming to achieve with Garden to Table. Her contribution will be of great value, and we are looking forward to welcoming her as an Ambassador.”
Ms Bezzant is the second Ambassador to be announced for Garden to Table, joining chef, author and restauranteur Al Brown.