A big problem for us and our health system
Approximately one-third of children and two-thirds of adults in New Zealand are overweight or obese.
Being too heavy increases the chances of poor health now – like obese children being bullied more or increased joint problems in adults.
However, of more concern, is the future impact on New Zealand’s health system. We are expecting a huge increase in the number of people with diabetes and cardiovascular complications because of excess weight.
Making sustainable and effective healthy changes
A major focus of our research is how best to assist individuals, families, schools and communities to make sustainable and effective healthy changes.
Our interventions have tested:
- How best to inform parents of young children that their child is overweight
MInT: Motivational Interviewing in treatment
- Whether providing extra guidance and support to new families can reduce the rate of excessive weight gain in infants
POI: Prevention of overweight in infancy
- How to encourage play within schools that promotes risk and challenge in a safe and appropriate manner
Free play at school Associate Professor Rachael Taylor interviewed on Radio New Zealand National
- Whether an alternative approach to introducing solids can improve the ability of young children to regulate their energy intake
BLISS: Baby-led introduction to solids
- Whether fruit and sweetened beverages have the same effect on metabolism
Does fructose from fruit have the same effect on gout and cardiovascular risks as sugary drinks?
- The use of different support strategies for encouraging behavioural change
SWIFT: Support strategies for whole-food diets, intermittent fasting and training