News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Drivers & Politicians Vie To Be The Unhealthiest Professions

*University of Otago and Ministry of Health. 2011. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Media Release

20 September 2012

Drivers And Politicians Vie To Be The Unhealthiest Professions in NZ!

What do politicians and drivers have in common? A new survey released today by Weight Watchers At Work has branded these as the nation’s most overweight professions; 70% of New Zealanders identified drivers as overweight or obese. The next bulkiest profession, according to the survey, is Politicians, with 63% of the public perceiving them to be overweight.

The nationwide At Work survey polled Kiwis to explore how workplace culture affects healthy lifestyles and uncovered some very compelling results; 45% of respondents indicated they work in a drinking culture, and 58% of respondents find it hard to make time to lead a healthy lifestyle. A staggering 51% of respondents were overweight or obese; a statistic corroborated by the most recent NZ Adult Nutrition Survey which put this figure even higher at 64.8%.*
Other key results further highlight NZ’s obesity issues:

- 75% of Kiwis are too exhausted to exercise when they get home from work
- 60% of respondents think eating healthily and keeping fit costs too much
- More than half (50.8%) of all respondents skip breakfast on weekdays
- 60% of overweight or obese respondents have fast food options close to their workplaces

This results are no surprise to Weight Watchers’ At Work representative, Carole Pinker, “a sedentary work life is a big contributor to weight gain,” she said. “That’s why having programmes in place such as Weight Watchers’ At Work can be vital to health and well-being.”

“It’s imperative for businesses to think about their employees’ wellbeing and health, especially with the current obesity epidemic,” says Pinker. “With most people (64.5%) spending upwards of 30 hours per week at work, there needs to be more support in the workplace to keep people healthy.”

The At Work programme brings the Weight Watchers experience into the workplace and eliminates the ‘time poor’ excuse. Groups can hold meetings on site and benefit from the support of their work mates in making healthier choices and keeping on track.

Key survey information:
292 respondents
Obese (BMI 30+) = 80 = 27.3%
Overweight (BMI 26-29) = 69 = 23.6%
Healthy= (BMI 20-25) 116 = 39.7%

About Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is Australasia’s largest and most effective weight management support system, with thousands of New Zealand and Australian women and men having taken part in the program since its introduction over 40 years ago. The programme’s success is based on its flexible approach to weight loss and lifestyle change. Members can follow the programme in a multitude of convenient ways including community meetings, online, one-on-one consultations, at work or at home. The system also includes Weight Watchers extensive supermarket foods range and monthly magazine.

Recent recognition of Weight Watchers efficacy includes ranking #1 program for ‘Best Weight-Loss Diet’, ‘Easiest Diet to Follow’ and ‘Best Commercial Diet Plan’ in the 2012 ‘Best Diet’ ranking by US News & World Report. Medical journal recognition includes The Lancet, following a trial whereby overweight and obese adults referred to Weight Watchers by their GP lost more than twice as much weight as those who followed a standard care program run by their GP. Additionally, a trial published in the British Medical Journal found that overweight and obese adults referred to Weight Watchers achieved significantly greater weight loss one year after the trial than those in a control group.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: NZSQ Conclude National Tour With ‘Release’ Programme

The NZSQ concluded their national tour in Wellington with a three-part programme, the triumphant final installment of which was entitled ‘Release.’ It included three pieces representing radical musical innovation... More>>

Howard Davis: The Show Must Go On - ‘La Traviata’ Opening Night Wobbles
Casting problems have beset ‘La Traviata’ since its first performance in March 1853 at Venice’s La Fenice opera house. Sadly, Saturday night’s premiere at Wellington’s newly-restored St James Theatre proved no different... More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland