July 06, 2018
Waistline expansion public health challenge
New University of Otago research reveals New Zealanders are getting fatter.
The research published yesterday in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health shows if current trends continue, New Zealand’s average BMI will exceed the obesity threshold of 30 kg/ per square metre by the early 2030s.
Between 18.5kg/m2 and 25kg/m2 is considered the healthy weight range.
The results also show increasing ethnic and socioeconomic disparities with the BMI of Māori and Pacific people and those living in socially deprived neighbourhoods higher again.
Researchers, Dr Ross Wilson and Professor Haxby Abbott are calling for public health policy measures to address the situation, including improving the relative affordability of healthy foods, restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and promotion of active modes of travel such as walking and cycling.
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