Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Children and Young People

Published online: 
16 December 2016

This publication provides updated clinical guidance for primary health care practitioners and others who provide advice on weight management for New Zealand children and young people aged 2 to 18 years.

The Guidelines follow a four-stage process: monitor, assess, manage, and maintain. The key components of management are FAB: Food and drink, Activity (including reducing sedentary time, and supporting sufficient sleep), and Behavioural strategies.

There are three new additions or changes:

  1. Regular monitoring of height, weight and BMI is recommended for all children and young people to enable early identification and advice for those who are trending towards obesity.
  2. To align with the New Zealand-World Health Organization (NZ-WHO) growth chart for two to five year olds, the Guidelines include the recommendation to use a new NZ-WHO growth chart for 5–18 year olds (currently being developed). Both charts define overweight as over the 91st centile, and obesity as over the 98th centile.
  3. Recognition of the role that sufficient sleep plays in weight management for children and young people, along with recommended hours of sleep by age.

The Guidelines are supported by a series of eating, activity and sleep tips for parents of 2-5 year olds, 5-12 year-olds, and teenagers, along with tips specifically for teenagers.

A summary of the Guidelines has been developed to support the Raising Healthy Kids Health Target: Weight Management in 2-5 year olds.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    16 December 2016
  • ISBN:
    Online: 978-0-947515-95-9
  • HP number:
    6525
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2016. Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Children and Young People. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:
    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.
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