Survey error led to thousands of Kiwi kids being identified as obese, who aren't

The Ministry of Health says New Zealand has 7,000 fewer obese children than previously thought, following the identification of a survey error which overstated obesity estimates.

Source: 1 NEWS

A statement on the error was released by the Ministry of Health today, outlining the mistake that led to the misreported figures.

"A measurement error by one interviewer in the New Zealand Health Survey led to obesity prevalence for children aged 2–14 years being overstated by around one percentage point for the last 2-3 years," the statement reads.

"Although the interviewer concerned completed a small proportion of all surveys, once the results are scaled up to the population level it equates to about 7,000 children being classified as obese when they weren't.

"After correcting the data we now estimate there are 94,000 obese children, down from the 101,000 we estimated previously."

The Ministry of Health says the error was due to mis measurement of height and weight in some children living in the Taranaki and Whanganui regions.

The error affects three years of data from 2015/16 to 2017/18, although the 2015/16 year was less affected.

The national data for the three affected years - which is used by policy analysts, researchers and planners is - being revised, with the revised national results expected to be published in November.