Looking for information about your health? This has now moved to Te Whatu Ora Health Information and Services.

× Remove the announcement

Obesity statistics

This page provides introductory statistics about obesity in New Zealand as well as links to statistical publications.

Help us improve this website

We are working to improve this website, and would appreciate your help testing the way we organise our content.

The study should take about 5 minutes to complete, and is completely anonymous.


Yes, I'd like to help

Adult obesity statistics

The New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21 found that:

  • around 1 in 3 adults (aged 15 years and over) were classified as obese* (34.3%), up from 31.2% in 2019/20
  • there was a significant increase from 2019/20 to 2020/21 for women (31.9% to 35.9%), but not for men
  • the prevalence of obesity among adults differed by ethnicity, with 71.3% of Pacific, 50.8% of Māori, 31.9% of European/Other and 18.5% of Asian adults obese
  • adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 1.6 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas**

Child obesity statistics

The New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21 found that:

  • around 1 in 8 children (aged 2–14 years) were classified as obese (12.7%), up from 9.5% in 2019/20. Prior to this, the rate of obesity among children had been relatively stable
  • the prevalence of obesity among children differed by ethnicity, with 35.3% of Pacific and 17.8% of Māori obese, followed by 6.6% of Asian and 10.3% of European/Other children
  • children living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 2.5 times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas**

For more information refer to the Annual Update of Key Results 2020/21: New Zealand Health Survey.

*Obese is defined as a person having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (or equivalent for those younger than 18 years).
**Adjusted for differences in age, sex and ethnicity.

Publications

Back to top