Monday, November 11th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research
Almost two in three (63.0%) New Zealand adults are overweight or obese, according to Roy Morgan’s latest New Zealand State of the Nation Report, despite more than half of the population wanting to lose weight.  

While 59.5% of New Zealanders report that they’d like to lose weight, and 39.0% say they’re constantly watching their weight, their Body Mass Index suggests their weight-loss strategies may need some revision.

Over the past decade, it’s been the obese group which has increased the most, up 4.4 percentage points to 28.9%. The proportion of overweight Kiwis has declined slightly to 34.1%, along with that of people with acceptable body weight (35.1%).

New Zealand’s Body Mass Index (BMI) groups

BMI-NZ

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand),12 month moving average, January 2001 – June 2013. Base: New Zealand population 18+

While low-fat living has become part of mainstream New Zealand life over the last ten years, with one third of Kiwis (33%) saying that a low-fat diet is a way of life for them and 20.9% claiming they’re always calorie-counting, the chart above suggests that the country’s weight problem may not be entirely due to diet.

New Zealanders’ attitudes to weight loss

NZ-weight-attitudes

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand),12 month moving average, January 2001 – June 2013. Base: New Zealand population 14+

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

“The latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation Report reveals that New Zealanders aren’t getting any slimmer, despite their best intentions. As in Australia, where obesity has risen to 27.4%, New Zealand has seen a growing number of people whose BMI qualifies them as obese.


“Low-fat diets, weight-watching and calorie-counting are all well and good, but other factors such as changing leisure activities and an ageing population may be having a counteractive impact. For example, though our findings show that more Kiwis (50.3%) are doing formal exercise (eg, gym, aerobics) than they were ten years ago, they also reveal a significant drop in the percentage of people playing sport (now sitting at 26.5%).


“For marketers and health agencies looking to understand New Zealand’s weight problem in more depth, Roy Morgan data can provide detailed insights into the relationship between BMI and age, gender, socioeconomic status, eating preferences, activities and more.”


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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.
Samantha Wilson
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Keywords

new zealand, body mass index, bmi, overweight, obesity, state of the nation

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