Do we have an obesity problem in New Zealand? Consider this - it would be easy to find eight children in New Zealand, aged between 10 and 12 who, collectively, out-weigh the entire All Black forward pack. New Zealand does have an obesity problem, but we need not. While it is true that genetics help determine our risk of getting fat, the 'right' (or 'wrong') environment must still be present for the obesity to develop, i.e. eating too much and exercising too little. With few exceptions what goes into the mouth determines how we will grow. That is a simple fact of nature. It is no secret that the prevalence of overweight and obese children in New Zealand is a major health and social problem. Many people are now trying to get to grips with the problem, but no matter how well intentioned they are, many are working from a basis of ignorance. For example, how many parents who study food labels really understand them? Do many people know that the bottom line for weight control is total energy intake rather than how much of that energy is from fat, carbohydrate or protein? How many people really know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?