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 2016/17 found that:

  • around 1 in 3 adults (aged 15 years and over) were obese (32%)
  • a further 34% of adults were overweight but not obese
  • 50% of Māori adults were obese
  • 69% of Pacific adults were obese
  • adults living in the most deprived areas were 1.5 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas*
  • the adult obesity rate increased from 27% in 2006/07 to 32% in 2016/17.

Child obesity statistics

The New Zealand Health Survey 2016/17 found that:

  • around 1 in 8 children (aged 2–14 years) were obese (12%)
  • a further 21% were children were overweight but not obese
  • 18% of Māori children were obese
  • 29% of Pacific children were obese
  • children living in the most deprived areas were 2.5 times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas*
  • the child obesity rate increased from 8% in 2006/07 to 12% in 2016/17.

For more information refer to the Annual Data Explorer: New Zealand Health Survey 2016/17.


* Adjusted for differences in age, sex and ethnicity.

Publications

  • Published 14 December 2017
    This Annual Data Explorer presents the 2016/17 results from the New Zealand Health Survey, for both adults and children. The Annual Data Explorer includes information on health behaviours and risk factors, health conditions and access to health services.
  • NZ Childhood Obesity Programme Baseline Report 2016/17.
    Published 09 June 2017
    Indicators will be used to monitor the progress of the New Zealand Childhood Obesity Programme. This report describes each of the indicators and their measures and provides a baseline view of their performance.
  • Annual Update of Key Results 2015/16: New Zealand Health Survey.
    Published 15 December 2016
    This report presents the 2015/16 results from the New Zealand Health Survey, for both adults and children. The reports includes information on health behaviours and risk factors, health conditions and access to health services.
  • Understanding Excess Body Weight.
    Published 16 April 2015
    This publication explores the increase in obesity obesity over a 36-year period to 2013 and reviews the current status of adult and child obesity in New Zealand, looking at the population subgroups that are affected most.
  • Published 02 December 2004
    Obesity is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for a number of major diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke and several common cancers. In the last two decades, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in developed countries has increased so quickly that is has been described as an epidemic. However, until now we have lacked a detailed description of obesity trends in New Zealand over an extended period of time.
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