Nearly 11pc of Pacific children extremely fat

The Press 28 November 2007
Compulsory child health checks cannot start fast enough after research showing one in 10 Pacific Island children is extremely obese, health experts say. A nationwide survey of 3000 five to 14-year-olds, conducted by Otago University Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences researcher Dr Ailsa Goulding found that nearly 11 per cent of Pacific children were extremely obese. This compared with 5.1 per cent of Maori and 0.8 per cent of European children. This meant that of the 576,900 children aged between five and 14 in New Zealand, about 15,000 were extremely obese, Goulding said. Six thousand of those would be Pacific Islanders, 6000 Maori and 3000 New Zealand European or other. Goulding said extremely obese children often grew into morbidly obese adults. With that came accompanying health problems that included increased risk of type2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.