New Zealand opposition leader Judith Collins has been criticised for calling obesity a “personal choice”, creating a headache for her National party which is struggling in the polls ahead of Saturday’s election.

Collins told radio station Newstalk ZB that “people need to start taking some personal responsibility for their weight” before joking that weight gain was not an epidemic and “wasn’t catching”.

New Zealand is listed by the OECD as the third fattest country in the world, with 31% of Kiwis regarded as obese. Aotearoa sits behind only Mexico (32%) and the United States (38%). Two in three Pasifika (66%) and half of Māori (48%) are obese.

Collins attacked suggestions her views oversimplified a complex issue or were heartless. “Do you know what is heartless? Thinking that someone else can cure these issues. We can all take personal responsibility,” she said.

She criticised parents on the AM Show, saying: “It doesn’t take actually much to get frozen vegetables out of the freezer and pull them out and do something with them. It’s not that hard.”

Mark Mitchell, a former defence minister and expected party leadership contender to Collins should she lose the election, said obesity was “a lot more complex”. “Some obesity is related to medical conditions, even psychological conditions that need treating, so it’s a more complex issue,” he told Newstalk ZB.

Dr Lisa Te Morenga, senior lecturer in Māori health and nutrition at Victoria University, called Collins’ remarks “outrageous and disappointing”.

“Making healthy food choices is really difficult for people when they are constrained by income, lack of access to healthy foods and the environment is full of junk food options,” she said. “And Maori and Pasifika families earn less money, are more likely to live in poverty and in areas not well served by shops.”

Te Morenga


Clearcover

MarketWatch has highlighted these products and services because we think readers will find them useful. This content is independent of the MarketWatch newsroom and we may receive a commission if you buy products through links in this article.

Adults in their twenties and thirties are now facing the same financial responsibilities their parents once did as they become homeowners, car owners, and insurance holders. While these financial matters can seem complicated, millennial adults have the added benefit of improved mobile apps to simplify banking, money transfers, and now, auto insurance.

Clearcover Car Insurance offers just that: clear, comprehensive, and affordable auto coverage at a better price than its competitors. “Clear” also describes how easy it is to use Clearcover’s digital platform: everything from purchasing your policy to managing an insurance claim can be done through their user-friendly mobile app.

Clearcover simply designed an app that makes sense to millennials: these days, there’s no need for in-person agents and phone calls when we do pretty much everything from our smartphones. And if you can do something that’s easier and a better value, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a price markup just for an insurance agent.

Mobile apps that allow users to make their own educated financial decisions aren’t so new: Robinhood makes stock market investment simple by allowing you to invest directly in the market through a mobile app. That strategy works for this generation of adults: Robinhood has over 2 million views in Apple’s App Store, and it enjoys a 4.8-star rating. Similarly, Clearcover enjoys 4.7 stars from nearly 1,000 satisfied customers in the Apple App Store. Over and over, user reviews describe Clearcover as “the best insurance ever”, with user Sobhan H. saying, “I am honestly really surprised to see that Clearcover is not the #1

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Quility today announced the launch of its digital platform, designed to revolutionize the process of shopping for and purchasing life insurance. With a mission to provide choice and simplicity in an industry that is perceived to be complex, Quility provides the opportunity for its clients to get the coverage they need on their terms.

Quility is backed by more than 4,000 licensed insurance agents nationwide, a recent combination of partner companies Symmetry Financial Group and Asurea Insurance Services. With licensed agents available for virtual and in-person consultations, Quility provides its clients with convenient access to expert advice and support when shopping for and purchasing life insurance. If a client prefers to purchase a policy online, Quility provides a ten-minute digital application that generally requires no medical exam. Quility’s seamless digital platform offers support from a licensed agent throughout the process should a client have questions about coverage.

“We created Quility to meet our clients where they are, providing the power of choice in how they prefer to shop for and purchase life insurance,” said Casey Watkins, Co-Founder of Quility. “Whether it’s through a video consultation or our online application, our goal is to provide simplicity and choice every step of the way. Life insurance is so important, and we want to make it as simple as possible for American families to get the coverage they need.”

Quility insurance agents are available to connect clients with a suite of life insurance solutions including mortgage protection, term life insurance, and Debt Free Life, a turnkey program designed to eliminate debt in nine years or less without any additional expenses to the client.

About Quility
Quility uses innovative and proprietary technology to modernize the process of qualifying for and purchasing life insurance. The

Aaron’s Inc. AAN is one of the stocks that have been doing well in the pandemic-ridden market, owing to the momentum in its business in the past two months. Despite the continuity of the COVID-19 outbreak-related woes, the company provided a business update for third-quarter 2020, revealing that solid performances across all products and categories as well as a strong customer base and robust lease portfolio have been contributing to third-quarter performance. As a result, management raised its earnings and sales guidance for the third quarter.

Further, the company has been in investors’ good books on its plans to spin-off into two independent publicly traded companies to sharpen focus and operational execution, while delivering long-term shareholder value. Also, strength in its Progressive business and progress on transformation initiatives for the Aaron’s business is keeping the stock going.

We note that shares of Aaron’s have gained 31.4% in the past three months despite the pandemic-related impacts on its business and the economy on the whole. Meanwhile, the industry has witnessed growth of 32.3% in the same period.

 

 

Factors Outlining the Growth Story

Robust Q3 Outlook: Driven by the aforementioned business momentum, Aaron’s anticipates revenues of $1-$1.02 billion for the third quarter, with adjusted earnings of $1.4-$.15 per share. Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be $140-$150 million. This suggests a rise from its earlier view of revenues of $950-$975 million and adjusted earnings of 80-90 cents per share. Segment-wise, revenues in the Progressive segment are envisioned to be $575-$585 million along with adjusted EBITDA of $100-$105 million. Further, invoice growth is likely to increase on a sequential basis to the tune of low to mid-single digits. Notably, strong invoice gain in the segment is likely to continue aiding growth in the quarter.

Moreover, revenues for the Aaron’s Business segment are forecast to