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National leader Judith Collins has been blunt on the topic of obesity, calling it an individual issue rather than an epidemic.
Collins says it is time to stop blaming the system for obesity, and people should start taking personal responsibility.
Massey University fat researcher Dr Cat Pause told Heather du Plessis-Allan she strongly disagrees with Collins' comments.
"I found Judith Collins' response to the story both heartless, but unfortunately not surprising," she says. "It fits in line with a larger neo-liberal project, which is about positioning individuals as being solely responsible for their own health and well-being, and suggesting neither the larger society nor the state has any role to play.
"We are a community, we need to take care of one another."
Dr Pause says it is important for individuals to promote the health and well-being of all people, rather than stepping in and trying to alter one's eating habits.