Prevalence of weight-related concerns and behaviours among New Zealand young people

Jennifer Utter*, Simon Denny, Teuila Percival, Sue Crengle, Shanthi Ameratunga, Robyn Dixon, Tasileta Teevale, Anganette Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The study aims to describe the prevalence of weight loss behaviours and weight-related concerns among a nationally representative sample of adolescents in New Zealand. 

Methods: Data for this study were collected as part of Youth'07, a nationally representative survey of the health and well-being of 9107 secondary school students in New Zealand. 

Results: More than one third of males and 65% of females tried to lose weight in the past year. Approximately 10% of males and 29% of females reported using at least one of the unhealthy weight control behaviours in the past year (fasted, skipped meals, smoked, vomited, diet pills). Among females and males, using unhealthy weight control behaviours was most prevalent among those who were older, overweight and lived in high-deprivation areas. 

Conclusion: Unhealthy weight control behaviours among New Zealand adolescents are common and warrant future research and discussion to understand why so many young people use unhealthy weight loss strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1028
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


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