Health experts and researchers are warning people to stay away from the heavy sales of Easter eggs this season as Supermarkets continue to push for purchases of the sugary treats.
Leading researchers across the UK have declared that the early sales of Easter eggs and the reduced price they are sold at, is a factor in the growing rates of obese adults and children.
According to The New Zealand Health Survey from 2018, one in three adults are now obese and one in eight children. The Ministry of Health says that number is expected to grow again this year.
Dr Simon Thornley, Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, says obesity rates have increased dramatically in New Zealand and he believes excess sugar is a major cause.
"Marketing and selling sugary products well in advance of the event is a big issue."
Thornley says supermarkets should take some responsibility for marketing Easter eggs so early and using bright, fun colours to appeal to children.
Katherine Rich from The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council disputes the claim, "Obesity happens when there is an imbalance between the amount of food someone eats and the physical activity they do."
Rich says sales have gone down this year for confectionary as of March.
A Countdown spokesperson says their supermarket chains begin selling their Easter products, including Hot Cross Buns, in early January, giving people months to purchase the product.
The spokesperson says last year the company sold 11.9 million Hot Cross Buns, but says it is too early to offer figures for this year.