Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition increasingly affecting New Zealanders as the number of overweight adults and children in New Zealand grows.


No parent chooses poor health for their child. But, due to multiple factors outside parents' control, obesity is now a significant health issue in New Zealand children. It is an issue that, one way or another, will affect all New Zealanders.

Children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses face a lifetime of complications. Not only is this devastating for the individuals and families affected, but it places an enormous burden on the public health system and the New Zealand taxpayer.

This affects us all. Unless something is done, things are only going to get worse.


Twenty years ago type 2 diabetes was called 'adult-onset diabetes' because it was a disease that only affected older adults. Today we see type 2 diabetes in young children. 

Obesity-related disease is stealing the futures of New Zealanders, and Healthy Futures wants to change that.

To make a change, we all need to work together to create an environment where making healthy choices is easy. 


Achieving this requires everyone taking action and working together, including:

  • central government
  • local councillors
  • communities
  • health professionals
  • educators
  • non-governmental organisations
  • you!

Actions that help to make healthy choices the easy choice include:

  • making changes so that healthy food choices are easy and accessible at home, at school and other places where children spend time
  • promoting environments that encourage physical activity
  • regulating food and beverage marketing to children
  • advising limits on screen time for children
  • provision and accessibility of parks, playgrounds and other outdoor recreation spaces

See our programmes for more information on how Healthy Futures can support you and your community to grow healthy kiwi kids.