4 Jan 2018

Drop in number of obese toddlers in NZ

6:33 pm on 4 January 2018

The number of Kiwi kids who are overweight at the age of 4-years-old is dropping, according to new research.

Child with bare feet on a bathroom scale of glass

Child with bare feet on a bathroom scale of glass Photo: 123RF

Data gathered during Before School checks between 2010 and 2016 found the number of overweight and obese children had dropped by more than two percent.

Dunedin School of Medicine dean and study author Barry Taylor said more than a third of New Zealand children were overweight by the time they reached their fourth birthday.

But he said that number was dropping.

"Broad messages that are across TV are changes in some of the food environments, which is across the country, seems to be driving this, rather than very specific programmes in particular people."

Dr Taylor said he was hopeful the new government would consider implementing a sugar tax to further reduce New Zealand's obesity rates.

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