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15 indicators to help monitor childhood obesity 

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

Minister for Sport and Recreation

9th June 2017

Media Statement

 

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a set of indicators will be published annually to help monitor the progress being made to reduce childhood obesity in New Zealand.

"Obesity is a serious issue threatening the health of young New Zealanders, which means some of our kids could end up living shorter lives than their parents," says Dr Coleman.

"In 2014/15 11 per cent of all children aged 2-14 years were obese. The figures for Maori and Pacific children were 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

"In 2015 the Government launched the 22-point Childhood Obesity Plan, making New Zealand one of few countries to have a comprehensive plan and a health target.

"To help monitor progress of the Plan, today we have released a set of 15 indicators which will be reported on annually.

"The indicators have been chosen based on their relevance to childhood obesity and ability to be measured using existing data sources. They cover four key areas of a child's life; activity, diet, support and general health."

The baseline performance for the 15 are detailed in a report released today. These indicators may change over time as new evidence becomes available.

The report also provides an update on the Childhood Obesity Plan's second year of implementation. Achievements to date include:

  • The Raising Healthy Kid's health target has had an 82 per cent achievement rate in its third quarter.
  • Sport NZ's Play.Sport pilot programme has been expanded from 34 schools to 44 schools across Upper Hutt and Waitakere.
  • We know children in the most deprived areas are three times as likely to be obese. The Plan includes a target of signing up 150 new decile 1 - 4 primary schools to the Health Promoting Schools programme over two years. To date, 285 new decile 1- 4 primary and intermediate schools have signed up, 90 per cent above the target.
  • The Education Review Office has published two reports on food, nutrition and physical activity in schools and early learning services.

The Children and Young People Living Well and Staying Well: New Zealand Childhood Obesity Programme Baseline Report is available on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz

 

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

 

Notes to editors:

The Children and Young People Living Well and Staying Well: New Zealand Childhood Obesity Programme Baseline Report has been prepared by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Primary Industries, Sport New Zealand and the Health Promotion Agency.

The indicators have been chosen based on their relevance to childhood obesity and ability to be measured using existing data sources. The indicators may change over time as new evidence or data becomes available.

Indicators

More children are physically active:
·        Time spent watching TV, videos or screens
·        Sleep duration
·        Time spent on physical activity

More children eat well:
·        Breastfeeding rates
·        Consumption of fast food
·        Consumption of sugary drinks
·        Fruit and vegetable intake

Children's environments support physical activity & healthy eating:
·        Awareness of the Health Star Rating system
·        Active transport to and from school
·        Use of a bicycle
·        Water-only policies in schools

More children have improved health outcomes:
·        Body Mass Index
·        Gestational diabetes
·        Raising Healthy Kids health target
·        Birth weight

Last updated: June 9, 2017