Childhood Obesity As A Nutritional Issue In New Zealand

Children’s obesity is a major nutritional problem that affects the well-being in New Zealand. Around 11% of children are obese, and 21% are overweight. New Zealand has the fifth-highest rate of childhood obesity. Explanation about nutritional issue To be considered obese one must have a high or abnormally low level of fat. The Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used to identify if an individual’s body is either underweight, too heavy, overweight, obese, or very obese. BMI is simply the person’s weight divided by their height in meters. The World Health Organization defines obese as someone whose bmi exceeds 30. One in nine New Zealand children are now considered obese. Three in ten adults are obese. New Zealand ranks fifth among the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s countries with the highest rates of childhood obesity. This is unfortunate considering the Organisation has thirty five other members. New Zealand’s child population is about 11% obese. The Ministry of Health reports that the rate of childhood obesity has risen from 8 percent in 2006/2007, to 12 percent in 2016/2017. Another 21 percent of obese children are also overweight. The issue affects everyone. Children, families, communities, and three ethnicities are all most affected by obesity. The issue affects children and families not only because of their weight but also the health problems that can result. Being overweight can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. It is possible for someone to develop anxiety or mental health problems. A young child could develop secondary diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. They may need support from their family. Gastric bypass surgery can be expensive and time-consuming. This is why it is only offered to those over 18 years old. Three different ethnicities are most affected by being overweight: Europeans, Pacificas and Maori. Maori and Pacifica individuals are more at risk for obesity than Europeans. Maori children are at risk of becoming obese at 18 percent and 29 percent respectively. Factors that are biological and environmental play a major role in their obesity. Environmental and biological factors can affect how people eat, how fast they digest food, and where they live. All of these factors can impact the likelihood of someone becoming obese or overweight. All of these factors can impact whether a child or another person is overweight or obese. The Child Poverty Action Group says that low-income families choose to buy food based upon what their children eat, how satisfying it is, and not on whether they are buying healthy food. Cheap food is often deemed unhealthy. However, if you compare the cost of a two-litre can of soda at $1 to that of a $2.50 litre of milk at $3.50, it is easy to see why so many people buy cheap food. We will examine the causes and major factors that led to this problem.

A child’s socioeconomic standing can influence what kind of food they eat. A child’s socioeconomic standing can impact the food items they get. For example, a child from a lower socioeconomic household may eat low-nutrition foods and fast food. Low socioeconomic families live in areas with high numbers of fast food restaurants. Mcdonald’s has been a top choice for fast food restaurants catering to children. Mcdonald’s offers food vouchers to their restaurant chain that will be given to children to sponsor their team. While parents may try to find healthy food, this isn’t always possible. People with low incomes will usually pay more for food that’s considered healthy. Dr Mike O’Brien from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a spokesperson, said that “the link between poverty, nutrition. obesity, health and health is fairly well established now.” We must reduce poverty levels if we are to tackle these issues.

Low socioeconomic children often live in poverty areas, which means that their food is often not up to standard. Children’s energy levels can be affected by the food they eat. Junk food can give a child energy for the next hour but not enough to last them the entire day. Even though the food is healthy, it can help children have enough energy to complete actives and exercise. A child who isn’t able to exercise or play sports will find themselves glued to the TV. Their bed. They are not using the energy they get from their food and turning it into fat. With this constant trend, children become obese. Technologoy is something that all households have in common.



Kian Stafford is a 39 year old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching for over 10 years and has worked in a variety of different positions. Kian has an extensive knowledge of education, both online and in-person, and has written extensively on education topics. He is also a member of several education organizations, and has been involved in many educational initiatives.