25 Sep 2017

A solution-focussed approach to Pacific obesity

4:11 pm on 25 September 2017

An Otago University study has detailed three ways to ensure good health as obesity rates among Pacific people in New Zealand and in the region are high.

Bootcamp weigh-in time

Bootcamp weigh-in time Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

Researchers interviewed and assessed 68 parents and adolescents from 30 Pacific Island families in a low socio-economic neighbourhood.

Lead researcher Tasileta Teevale said the study found there were some Pacific families who have strict household rules to ensure their children receive the nutrition they need.

"They are there to have breakfast and provide breakfast and lunch for their children, they make very strict rules about having fizzy drinks, in particular being available in the home, and they also have really strict rules around limiting the tv time and electronic gaming time for their kids."

Dr Teevale said if parents focused on those three simple things at home, their children should remain healthy.

The study, funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.