Report

Obesity and diabetes in New Zealand

20 Oct 2014
Description

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers.

Introduction

It is estimated that 1.1 million adults are obese in New Zealand (that is, they have a BMI or Body Mass Index of 30 or more). Obesity in New Zealand places a considerable strain on the health care system: a study in 2006 estimated that health care costs attributable to overweight and obese persons was $686 million or 4.5% of New Zealand’s total health care expenditure.

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) and type 2 (adult-onset diabetes mellitus). Type 2 is more common in the population than type 1 (approximately 90% of diabetes cases worldwide are type 2). Individuals who are obese increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Ministry of Health estimated (when looking at the mortality burden of nutrition-related risk factors in New Zealand) that, in 1997, 80% of deaths from type 2 diabetes were attributable to a high BMI.

Complications from diabetes include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure. There were 768 deaths from diabetes in New Zealand in 2010.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
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