How have health policy changes responded to the rise of childhood of obesity in New Zealand over the last thirty years?
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Health Sciences
The prevalence of childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate worldwide. New Zealand holds the record of having the second highest rate of childhood obesity in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, behind the United States. About one third of New Zealand children are now overweight or obese. Additionally, ethnic disparities in the distribution of this health issue in New Zealand have been significant over the last two decade. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how health policy changes have responded to the rise of childhood of obesity in New Zealand over the last thirty years. Three key documents have been identified that influenced policy direction. These documents are: Public Health Services, Social Environments and Health Promoting Schools tier level two service specification (1997), Health and Physical Education in the NZ Curriculum (1999), and the National Children’s Nutrition Survey (2002). In spite of the recently introduced set of initiatives by the Ministry of Health on childhood obesity, it remains imperative to strengthen the New Zealand nursing workforce in schools while addressing child poverty issues.