A list of non-essential foods has been released in an effort to curb the country’s ever-expanding waistline. Forty-nine foods made it onto the no-no list, compiled by University of Otago researchers and entitled ‘NEEDNT’ foods.

The list has been published in the New Zealand Medical Journal as a reference for health professionals working with obese or overweight people wanting to slim down.

Lead researcher Jane Elmslie said the purpose of the list was to describe a group of foods which are non-essential, energy dense and nutritionally deficient. “That means that to remain healthy, we never need to eat any of them,” said Dr Elmslie.

The list differs to others in that it is “black and white” and not just another list of high calorie foods. While some of the usual suspects such as ice cream, chocolate and doughnuts made the NEEDNT group, also in the spotlight are some common foods that people might have thought were healthy.

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