New Zealand's Obesity Rate Climbs Higher with 3 in 10 Adults Obese

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By Reissa Su | December 16, 2013 7:05 PM EST

A new study revealed that obesity continues to be a health issue in New Zealand with 30 per cent of adults classified as obese. New Zealand is gradually becoming fatter with 3 adults out of 10 turning out to be obese.

Despite the release of the new obesity data by a leading diabetes researcher, New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall said he will reject measures of a "nanny state." Mr Ryall said providing information and support to obese adults are not enough.

Mr Ryall believes that things will remain the same if people will not eat less and exercise more even if the government will pass laws to reduce obesity.

According to the Ministry of Health's health survey in 2012, more than 1.1 million adults in New Zealand are obese. The obesity rate has increased in adults with 31 per cent compared to 29 per cent in 2011.  Human nutrition and medicine professor at Otago University Jim Mann said the new obesity figures were depressing and no longer surprising. Professor Mann said the government has failed to address the issue.

Ms Mann said the government should push for meaningful school programmes and reduce the advertising of junk and unhealthy food.  

According to Mr Ryall, the New Zealand government preferred to provide support and information with an investment of $60 million every year. The government plans to implement Kiwisport in schools, promote fruits and implement a community-based programme in Victoria.

New Zealand cafes urged to offer smaller food servings

New Zealand cafes are encouraged to offer smaller portions or cut down the fat to help reduce diabetes. According to University of Otago researchers, seven per cent of adults in New Zealand have a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A new research from the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research has discovered that people with pre-diabetes symptoms will be less likely to develop the disease if their diet will improve.

Researcher Kirsten Coppell said smaller meals and observing a strict diet can significantly reduce the amount of unhealthy ingredients in the diet. Dr. Coppell said the university center suggests customising a person's diet to their socio-economic and cultural circumstances.

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