New Zealanders are Fat and in Denial About it, Says Survey

Independent research conducted for the annual Cigna 360° Wellbeing Score found that of the study comparing 11 countries New Zealanders were not only the chubbiest, but were "wildly off the mark" in estimating how fat they were.

"I think it's normal to be overweight now," New Zealand Nutrition Foundation dietitian Sarah Hanrahan said. "More than half the population is overweight. You will see more overweight than you will see within the normal weight range, and in some parts of town it will be even more than that." 

Those surveyed who reported enjoying watching rugby were statistically fatter than the average person.The figures are from the annual Cigna 360° Wellbeing Score survey, with a sample size of 1000 New Zealanders, 50/50 male/female, various ages from 25+. 

Some of the surveys top insights include:

  • New Zealand’s overall health and well-being score was 62.7, slightly below the average score across all countries surveyed of 63.4.
  • 44% rated overall health and wellbeing as excellent or very good.
  • The highest health and well-being score was achieved by those in the 25-29 age bracket (49%), this falls to 40% from 40 and stays there.
  • Family health and wellbeing is the most important to new Zealanders at 50%, this is followed by physical wellbeing at 40%
  • Spending time with family was the most important for those aged 50+
  • More than half of Kiwis have juice and almost 30% of Kiwis have fizzy drinks in their fridges.
  • Cancer was rated the greatest health concern, ahead of debilitating illnesses, heart disease, and depression
  • Contrary to popular belief, just 5% drank alcohol daily; this was highest among 60+ at 14%. Almost half drink alcohol at least once a week, averaging 3.5 standard drinks per session.
  • An average of 34 hours a week are spent on digital activities (internet browsing, social networking, email, online video, gaming and online shopping) compared to Thai people who spend an average of 54 hours per week.
  • New Zealand had the highest percentage of overweight and obese people out of all countries surveyed.


Read more here on Alternatively you can view the 360º Wellbeing score video and infographic here.


Rob Stock Reports on Trail Commissions

Rob Stock has this article attacking 'money for nothing' payments on trail commissions on products where the adviser no longer has the right to advise on a product. Link

When this issue was first raised in Goodreturns last year I had several advisers approach me pointing out that the financial agreement between the investment or insurance company and the adviser was made years ago, and never included a stipulation that investment advice would be given. So, they say, 'what has the financial contract got to do with the current situation?' 

Rob Stock suggests it might cut prices:

"The costs of insurance could drop if calls to end 'money-for-nothing' annual commission payments to financial advisers who are no longer providing advice or service to clients are successful."

But it is very unlikely.

The number of products in the category being discussed is tiny. To provide some context, the premium in the affected category is between $80 million and $110 million, but this pales by comparison with the 1.986 billion not affected (Public FSC summary statistics to 30 June 2015).

Some of those old products are on ancient computer systems which cost a lot to maintain - when costs are properly allocated they may be making losses. I doubt very much that there would be much movement in actual premiums even for the specific products, let alone insurance in general. 

Rob Stock on Insurance Claims

Rob Stock has this article on insurance claims which quotes FSC data on life and personal lines claims. Hat tip to Regan Thomas for bringing this article to my attention. 

If you want an insight into the views of consumers you need to read the comments. 

The first thing you notice is the confusion. Life, health, and general are all confused. It isn't clear to them what this claims figure is about. Of course if you include general insurance and health insurance in a normal year the claims figure is multiple billions. In a really bad year (post-earthquake, for example) over ten billion. 

The next thing you notice is that some consumers think that they are only 'winning' when the insurer 'loses'. This is fundamental. Unless insurers can convince people that they get value from insurance even when they aren't claiming, the relationship will always be deeply flawed. I was always taught that the moment I sign up for insurance I am getting value - the value is peace of mind. That's worth something even if I never claim.