9 Sep 2009

Nutrition of Pacific families in New Zealand to be explored

1:26 pm on 9 September 2009

Pacific families in New Zealand are being urged to take part in a nationwide nutrition survey aimed at finding out how eating habits are affecting health.

The survey is carried out every ten years by the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

The Chief Advisor on Pacific Health, Dr Api Talemaitoga, says dietary information will indicate what areas are working well and where greater emphasis is needed:

"Pacific people have been a bit reluctant to get involved. It's quite, I guess, an intrusive survey where you are asked specifically what you have eaten for the last 24 hours and people check what is in the cupboard and what is in the fridge to confirm details and it's just so important going forward."

Dr Talemaitoga says the ministry has used Samoan and Tongan speakers to contact people to make sure they have a good level of involvement from families from those communities.