Our nation is one of the most obese in the world, but alarming new statistics from the University of Otago shows the problem may be much worse than we thought.
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The University of Otago found that the BMI of New Zealanders is on the rise significantly. BMI is the measure of body fat in relation to the height and weight of a person.
They found that by 2030 the average BMI for the country will be obese. This exponential gain has been observed since 1977 when by 2013 obesity rates had tripled.
These results are alarming, and lead researcher Ross Wilson worries that
High BMI has now overtaken tobacco as the greatest contributor to health loss in New Zealand, which emphasises the public health importance of these findings,
He claims the two main reasons our countries BMI is increasing by the day, is as a result of high energy but low nutrient food. Alongside the lack of physical activity, we are participating in today.
Wilson wants to see the BMI start to drop rather than increase and suggests how we need to achieve this. Which is by making healthy foods more affordable and restricting the marketing on unhealthy foods. He also believes there needs to be a marketing campaign which promotes healthy eating in conjunction with active modes of travel such as biking or walking to walk.
Not only is the obesity in our country a significant health issue with 1.2 million adults and 99,000 children aged between two to 14 were dangerously overweight, but it is also an economic issue. Healthcare related costs with obesity were estimated to reach an alarming $624 million, and this was in 2006, so that will only be rising.