WELLINGTON: New Zealand food and drink products should carry a 'traffic-lights' labelling system says the parliamentary health select committee - which also urges a TV advertising ban on 'junk' foods before 8.30pm.

After a year of research into obesity and type 2 diabetes, the committee says that up to 35% of Kiwi adults are obese, and that the problems threaten to "rapidly overwhelm the health system".

It also argued the New Zealand government's current efforts were "fragmented and poorly co-ordinated", and were placing "too much emphasis on education and promotion of physical activity as the key preventive interventions".

The committee also proposes that the introduction of colour coding - as already used in the UK to indicate sugar, fat and salt content - should begin gradually, starting with children's foods.

Data sourced from nzherald.co.nz; additional content by WARC staff