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ACNielsen Asia Pacific Survey

ACNielsen Asia Pacific Survey Shows New Zealanders Watching Weight – and Sports Kiwis Keen On Team Sports From The Couch

Kiwis are the self-confessed heavyweights of Asia Pacific, according to a new consumer confidence survey from ACNielsen. Some 67 percent of those surveyed in New Zealand say they consider themselves either a little, somewhat or very overweight. Across the Asia Pacific region, 54 percent of those surveyed consider themselves to be either a little, somewhat or very overweight.

However, some 71 percent of Kiwis surveyed say they are trying to lose weight, presumably including some people who don’t consider themselves overweight. Across the region, some 69 percent were trying to lose weight – significantly more than those who perceived themselves as overweight.

“This gap between national self-image and action may be fuelled by ongoing media interest in obesity,” says Alistair Watts, MD ACNielsen Pacific.

With 71 percent of New Zealanders trying to lose weight, how are they planning to do it? Some 28 percent said they were trying to cut down on fats (compared with 51 percent of Indonesians). More than other populations in the region, Kiwis are targeting sweets, with 25 percent saying they planned to cut down on chocolates and sugars. Some 12 percent says they used Weight Watchers or another slimming programme. Another two percent say they use diet pills, compared with 12 percent of Singaporeans. However, together with the Japanese, we lead the region in carbohydrate avoidance with eight percent pinning hopes on the Atkin’s Diet. Only one percent said they used a vegetarian diet as part of their diet plan, which was the region’s lowest result and reflects our meat farming and meat eating heritage.

Keeping fit More Kiwis exercise regularly than any other population in the region, with 44 percent saying they exercise at least three times a week, and 19 percent saying they exercise daily. This is over twice the regional average of eight percent. Of these, 79 percent said that when they exercised, it would be between 30 minutes and over an hour.

Some 27 percent of people in Asia Pacific never exercise. Lagging farthest behind are the Japanese with 47 percent saying they never exercise. Following closely are the Thais, with 38 percent saying they never exercise, and 31 percent of Hong Kongers saying they never exercise.

Our national obsession with team sports does not extend to actual participation, with only six percent of Kiwis regularly taking part in a team sport, compared with 22 percent of Chinese and 13 percent of Hong Kongers. The only nationality with a lower rate of team sport participation was India at five percent.

Also surprising, given our vast coastlines and outdoors lifestyles, Kiwis ranked at the bottom of the region for swimming, with only three percent saying they swim regularly, compared with 10 percent of Indonesians and 12 percent of Singaporeans. Some 51 percent of us regularly walk or jog, 14 percent work out or lift weights at a gym, and three percent use aerobics.

Pampering and beauty treatments
When it comes to pampering, Kiwis are among the most reluctant in the region. Some 74 percent have never had a manicure, pedicure or facial treatment. Compare this with Thailand, where 39 percent pamper themselves every week, and 68 percent said they had a treatment at least every couple of months. Perhaps this reflects the comparatively high cost and perception of such treatments as luxuries in New Zealand, or perhaps it’s our puritanical heritage? In New Zealand, only 10 percent said they had treatments at least every couple of months, compared with the regional average of 26 percent.

The ACNielsen Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Survey is a regular syndicated online consumer survey, gathering information from regular users of the Internet across Asia Pacific on their attitudes and preferences and consumption of media, products and services across different markets. Clients can insert specific questions as required.

Conducted in April and May 2004, the Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Study surveyed 9,485 consumers in 13 Asia Pacific markets online. Nationalities surveyed include New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

About ACNielsen ACNielsen, a VNU company, is the world’s leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behaviour. Clients rely on ACNielsen’s market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.

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