Why is this important for social statistics?

We measure obesity rates because of the effect obesity has on health. Obesity is linked to a long list of health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. It is a leading cause of health loss, accounting for approximately 9% of all illness, disability, and premature mortality in 2013 (Ministry of Health 2016).

This indicator measures the proportion of the population aged 15 years and over who are obese. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (or equivalent for those under 18 years). In New Zealand BMI is obtained using measured height and weight (Ministry of Health 2016), whereas some countries use self-reported values. It is most appropriate to compare countries that use the same method.

Downloadable file:

Excel icon. Obesity – tables (Excel, 3 sheets, 24kb)

Includes breakdowns by age group, ethnic group, sex, and OECD country.

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