The World Health Organisation (2014) defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. New Zealanders show a high prevalence of obesity where 65% of the total population over the age of 15 are classified as overweight or obese (Ministry of Health, 2013). Initial health checks have been undertaken for Macraes employees and results have revealed that 35% were clinically obese (BMI >30). However since this initial assessment, this has now decreased to 15% (OceanaGold, 2014).


Obesity is associated with a wide range of health conditions including type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease, cancer, stroke, and reproductive abnormalities amongst others. Excess body weight results in an imbalance of hormones and nutrients in the body; insulin resistance can arise, blood glucose levels remain elevated, blood lipids and Cholesterol are elevated, and blood pressure is elevated. (Ministry of Health NZ, 2014). It is important to note that as Body Mass Index (BMI) increases, the risk of these diseases also increase; even for those who are not in the overweight or obese range.


Weight gain is the result of a positive energy balance where energy intake from food and drink outweighs energy expenditure from physical activity. The rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity in New Zealand in recent years is understood to be partly caused by an increasingly 'obesogenic' environment. This describes an environment in which overconsumption of food and a sedentary lifestyle with limited physical activity is considered normal. In order to overcome weight gain, it is essential that this obesogenic environment is altered in order to eat healthy, and become more active (Ministry of Health NZ, 2014).


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool used to measure body weight in relation to height and is used to evaluate whether one is a healthy weight or is overweight. To calculate your BMI, click the following here.


How can you lose weight/reduce your risk of obesity? Follow these links to Nutrition and Exercise.

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