Saturday, September 14th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research
The number of New Zealanders who are classified as overweight has decreased. The bad news? They’re now obese.

The number of New Zealanders who are classified as overweight has decreased.

The bad news? They’re now obese.

Around two in seven New Zealand adults are now obese, an increase of almost 4% in the last decade, Roy Morgan’s latest State of the Nation report shows.

The proportion of ‘overweight’ and ‘acceptable weight’ adults has dropped 1.8% and 1.9% respectively during this time.

Proportion of New Zealanders by Body Mass Index


Base: New Zealand Population 18+  Source: Roy Morgan Research.

Acceptable weight is classified by the World Health Organisation as a Body Mass Index (weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres) of between 18.5 and 25, with overweight being 25 to 30, and obese 30 or higher.

New Zealanders’ attitudes towards weight-loss are fairly consistent with the reality: 63% are either overweight or obese, and 60.1% want to lose weight.

37.8% say they constantly watch their weight, and 20.8% ‘always think of the number of calories’ in their diet.

Roy Morgan Research’s State of the Nation report examines long-term changes and trends in our attitudes toward society, technology, the economy, politics and the environment based on around 120,000 interviews. These are just a few of the thousands of revealing findings.

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“Although weight-watching and calorie-counting are on the rise, this dietary concern seems to follow rather than precede actual weight gain.

“Being overweight has become the norm, however If the trend continue we could see obesity become the norm within a decade.”

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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.
Shaun Ellis
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Around two in seven New Zealand adults are now obese

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