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Annual health survey shows obesity increase

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre Professors Jim Mann and Barry Taylor have been interviewed about the Ministry of Health survey finding that a third of NZ adults are now obese.

The Ministry of Health annual survey results show that obesity levels are on the increase, with 1.2 million adults or 32.2% of the adult population now classed as obese.  Just over one quarter (26.5%) of the adult population was obese ten years ago. In addition, 99,000 children (12.3% of those aged 2 to 14yrs) are now obese, which is an increase of 8.4% since the 2006/07 survey.

Professor Jim Mann, EDOR co-director, says in his interview on Radio NZ that New Zealand has one of the worst rates of obesity in the OECD. He says the environment needs to change to make healthy eating easier for families, such as making fruit and vegetables cheaper, and banning junk food advertising and its sale within schools.

Professor Barry Taylor, EDOR member and Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine, was interviewed on TVNZ's Breakfast show, and also said that something needs to be done about the environment we are living in. How active we are, how well we eat and how well we sleep are important factors in obesity, says Professor Taylor.  But unless changes are made to the environment we live in, healthy choices are difficult to make.

Follow the interviews

Nearly a third of adult NZers now considered obese, RNZ, 19 November, 2017
Shocking figures on obesity in NZ, TVNZ, 19 November, 2017