Obesity statistics

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

Adult obesity statistics

The New Zealand Health Survey 2019/20 found that:

  • around 1 in 3 adults (aged 15 years and over) were obese (30.9%)
  • the prevalence of obesity among adults differed by ethnicity, with 63.4% of Pacific, 47.9% of Māori, 29.3% of European/Other and 15.9% of Asian adults obese
  • adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 1.8 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas*
  • the overall prevalence has remained relatively stable since 2012/13, however there was an increase between 2011/12 and 2019/20 for adults aged 45–54 years and 55–64 years.

Child obesity statistics

The New Zealand Health Survey 2019/20 found that:

  • around 1 in 10 children (aged 2–14 years) were obese (9.4%)
  • the prevalence of obesity among children differed by ethnicity, with 29.1% of Pacific and 13.2% of Māori obese, followed by 3.4% of Asian and 7.2% of European/Other children
  • children living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 2.7 times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas*
  • the child obesity rate has decreased since 2018/19, and while this has decreased since last year, it is too early to report a trend.

For more information refer to the Tier 1 statistics 2019/20: New Zealand Health Survey.


* Adjusted for differences in age, sex and ethnicity.

Publications

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