Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Friday 30 May 2014 10:20am

Half of New Zealand's overweight women are obese and nearly a third of boys and girls are overweight or obese, according to a first-of-its-kind global report of which a University of Otago scientist is a co-author.

Associate Professor Tony Merriman says that it is widely accepted that increased calorific intake from energy dense and nutrient poor processed foods is a major driver of the increasing obesity rates in New Zealand and world-wide.

“In my opinion the intervention required to reverse the increasing obesity rates is not straightforward and certainly will be multifactorial, requiring strategic co-ordination by government.

“It has to begin with public health approaches to reduce the total calorific intake of New Zealanders alongside approaches to increase physical activity. The former would require governmental policy change and specific interventions, such as reducing the price disparity between nutritious healthy foods and energy dense nutrition-poor unhealthy food.”

Read the full story in the University of Otago media release:

Global report finds NZ has highest rates of adult and child obesity in the region 29 May 2014, University of Otago website

Back to top