The bulk of the nation (infographic)

If you bought a paper this morning, particularly the Herald, you’ll have bene greated with front-page stories detailing a list of 49 foods that obese people should avoid.

In fact, we should probably all avoid them, but University of Otago researchers who put the list together, are targeting people who are overweight or obese and suggesting foods they can swap out these so-called NEEDN’T foods for.

We held a press conference with the researchers yesterday, which you can listen to here.

So how many of us are overweight or obese? We’ve an infographic for you with the answers. We put this together based on extensive data that emerged just before the General Election last year, but which was sort of buried in Rugby World Cup hype and election build-up. See below as well – how the media adapted the graphic to accompany today’s story on the NEEDNT foods.obesity infographic

From The Press

the press

From the Otago Daily Times



  1. ljhood

    Peter – it is extremely unkind and inaccurate of your infographic to put all the very fat people in the deep south. I lay money most of them are sitting around eating greasy pies and chips north of the Bombay Hills. Here in the deep south we snack only on carrot sticks. Lynley

  2. Michael Edmonds

    In the interviews I’ve seen I haven’t noticed any demonization of foods. The list just points out which foods are calorie rich and nutrient poor which is useful information for those who intend to lose weight.
    The only people I can see jumping up and down about this list are those in the food indusy who have been portraying some of these foods as “healthy” by being very selective about the information they provide consumers.

  3. Peter Griffin

    I think the data is accurate enough, that is pretty well established. My issue is that I don’t think it is any use telling people who are overweight not to eat certain foods or to replace their favourite foods with really bland and tasteless food for their own good. Surely it is more effective to empower people by getting them cooking decent food. To that end, the whole deluge of Jamie Oliver, Masterchef style programmes isn’t such a bad thing because it is at least showing people there’s a healthier alternative, if they can motivate themselves to put in a bit of effort. Then there’s the issue of “food addiction”, but I’m not even going to go there…

  4. balthazar

    The comments I have heard on the radio about this segment, as well as the press makes me sad to have graduated from the same department that the dietetic school sits.

    Never mind saying that the results surprisd the authors? (which was a radio editorial comment)

    this type of bad food good food brings people back to the “eggs are bad” days, based upon chemicalising whole foods. The whole dietetic push to demonize food based upon certain components is offensive to me as a nutritionist. We should be spending our time collecting more accurate data, than spreading this.

  5. Brendan Moyle

    So…I’m in the 31% of males that aren’t overweight or obese. I almost feel like I’m doing something wrong.

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