Obesity is defined as having an excessively high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass and is measured by a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of 30 or more. Lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise, can directly contribute to serious health problems, such as obesity and diabetes. Obesity is associated with a long list of health conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, various types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and kidney disease. Obese people also have a higher likelihood of experiencing personal, social and employment difficulties.
Despite being more physically active than the total population, Māori men and women were 1.7 times more likely to be obese than men and women in the total population in 2006/07.
Graph 4: Prevalence of obesity, 2006/07
Source: Ministry of Health (2008). Ministry of Health: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey. Note: Age-standardised prevalence for total adults.
The percentage of obese adults in the Māori population has also increased slightly from 42.1 percent in 2002/03 to 43.2 percent in 2006/07.