Friday, December 16th, 2011 - Roy Morgan Research
A majority New Zealanders (63%) are now either overweight or obese, according to the recently released Roy Morgan New Zealand State of the Nation Report 3 - a major study of New Zealanders spanning over ten years and 120,000 interviews.

In September 2011, only 35% of New Zealanders had a Body Mass Index (BMI) indicating an acceptable weight, down from 38% in 2009.

The shift towards a larger body mass is supported by figures showing 28% of the population were obese in September 2011, up from 25% in December 2001. However over the same period, those considered overweight has declined slightly from 36% to 35%.

Body Mass Index (BMI) of New Zealanders

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 month moving average Jan 2001-Sept 2011. Oct 2010 – Sept 2011, n =10,815.

When looking at New Zealanders’ attitudes towards weight-loss over the last 10 years, similar shifts are reflected with 60% (up from 58%) of the population reporting that they would like to be able to lose weight and 38% saying that they are constantly watching their weight (up from 36%).

Despite this, those who considered a low fat diet a way of life declined from 33% to 30% in the same period, and the number of New Zealanders who said they always thought about the number of calories they were eating was down slightly from 21% to 19%.

Attitudes towards Weight-Loss

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 month moving average Jan 2001-Sept 2011. Oct 2010 – Sept 2011, n =10,815.

Pip Elliott, Client Services Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It is interesting to note that in the same period, the percentage of New Zealanders who are overweight is similar to Australia, where 62% of Australians are also either overweight or obese, with 64% saying they would like to be able to lose weight.

“Our rising weight is likely an indication of our changing lifestyles. These findings raise many questions such as, ‘is our increasing weight simply a reflection of our aging population?’ ‘Can it be explained by a more sedentary lifestyle or more fast food?’ ‘Is it a male problem or a female problem?’ Or, ‘is it different by geographical location?’

“Roy Morgan data can provide further insights for those wanting to explore this segment at a deeper level, and can provide an understanding of the relationship between BMI and age, gender, socioeconomic status, eating preferences, activities and their media consumption.”

The Roy Morgan State of the Nation Report 3 provides a ten-year long term perspective on New Zealand Society based on over 115,000 interviews conducted over nearly a decade between January 2001 and September 2011. A decade ago, Roy Morgan Research, and many others, anticipated that people in the developed world would face an increasingly complex social environment that would change both the level of demand for its products and services, and the climate of support for those products and services. In this Roy Morgan State of the Nation Report, we have measured all of these issues and more - plotted them over time - and explored in more detail how they have played out, in terms of Society, Technology, Economy, Politics, and Environment.

Contact Us for in-depth information on BMI profiles, including profiles on people who are obese or overweight.

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company.

Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.

Vaishali Nagaratnam
P: 0392245309


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