Report highlights NZ's obesity epidemic

4 May 2015

The Ministry of Health has published a document on the body weight of New Zealanders drawn from data collected from about 13,000 adults and over 4000 children each year between 2011 and 2013.

Entitled Understanding Excess Body Weight, it reviews the current status of our obesity epidemic, exploring the increase in obesity over the past 36 years.

Its findings: the adult obesity rate has increased from 10% in 1977 to 30% in 2011–13, while 11% of children were obese in 2011-13. In addition, a further 35% of adults and 21% of children were overweight. More than 2.5 million New Zealanders were either overweight or obese.

On the bright side, it found that data from the 2013/14 New Zealand Health Survey indicates the childhood obesity rate may be stabilising, with 10% of children obese. That would bring New Zealand in line with the trend in a number of other OECD countries over the same time period.

Read the full document here