New research from the University of Otago has found that the majority of food being sold at sporting events is classed as junk food, prompting calls for a change. The study found that 68 percent of food sold at netball venues and 62 percent at rugby venues was unhealthy, with fizzy drinks, chocolate and fried foods the most common offerings.

“Healthy nutrition policies in sports clubs are urgently needed,” said Professor Louise Signal, co-author of the study. “This requires support from health agencies and leadership from national sports organisations.”

“We see lollies and fizzy and we should be replacing them with oranges and water.”

Signal is appealing to the Ministers of Sport and Health to work together to help sports clubs implement healthy food policies.

“We have to make a change because our obesity epidemic amongst our children is very severe,” she said. “We’ve got a third of our kids overweight and obese, they’re going to go on to struggle with their weight throughout their lives.”