Creating an ‘energy gap’ makes weight control easier, according to dietitian and nutritionist Nikki Hart. In order to build food literacy among consumers, the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) has asked Hart to produce a series of four short videos, offering tips on healthy eating. The first one, titled ‘Energy Balance & the Complexity of Obesity’, provided simple strategies to prevent weight gain without excessive exercise or fasting.

“We need a certain amount of energy to be able to consume the wide variety of foods and fluids our body needs to function optimally. Creating an energy gap and still meeting our nutritional needs, therefore, needs some change in activity,” Hart said. “The combined effect of being a little more active and swapping some higher-energy foods for lower-energy options, or choosing smaller portions, make a big impact over time.”

The next video will be released in early 2016, and FGC chief executive Katherine Rich said the whole series will offer achievable and clear solutions rather than mere theory.
“A lot of the food or nutrition information can seem too complicated. We want to make sound and practical information available to help people make better-informed food choices,” said Rich. “These videos are just one of the ways the food and beverage industry is helping to reduce obesity in New Zealand, complementing the education programme the Government is planning for next year.”