Obesity costing NZ up to $849m - study

09:00 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012
Obesity costing NZ up to $849m - study
Obesity costing NZ up to $849m - study

Obesity is costing New Zealand between $722 million and $849 million a year, an Auckland University study says.

The study showed up to 4.4 per cent of New Zealand's healthcare costs, an estimated $624 million, was spent on obesity.

In addition, there were costs of between $98 million and $225 million for lost productivity from obesity through absenteeism, premature death, or recruitment and training of replacement staff.

"These figures represent a major drain on health resources and point to a need to increase efforts on prevention," said Professor Boyd Swinburn from the university's school of population health.

The costs didn't include foregone taxes, costs of disability and loss of well-being.

The report says about 35 per cent of New Zealanders over 15 are overweight, while 25.4 per cent are obese.

Obesity is a key risk factor for illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

The study is based on figures from 2006, the university said.

An earlier study estimated the healthcare costs of obesity in New Zealand based on 1991 figures was $135 million.

Women who use pain relief during childbirth may have a lower risk of depression after their babies are born, a leading psychiatrist has said. (Corbis images)Epidural 'may cut depression risk' Researchers analysed the genetic data of 3000 Swedish people who have autism. (Thinkstock)Gene mutations 'cause autism' Researchers found found that those who had been kept awake for 24 hours struggled to remember the correct details. (Getty images)Lack of sleep creates false memories Some 13 per cent of mothers said they waited for at least six months before they started to have sex again. (Getty images)Study: Women reject sex after childbirth

Ask our experts

Should I continue my affair with a married man? Our answer SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EXPERT Dr Gabrielle Morrissey

What's your BMI?


Body Mass Index Measure your BMI >>Find out if your body is in the healthy body mass index range. Calorie CounterCalorie CounterKeep track of your daily dietary intake. Burn BarometerBurn BarometerHow much exercise should you be doing?