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Pacific DOC training group photo 644
From left: Dr Ofa Dewes, Alphonso Afoa-Scotter, Lois Shaw, Juanita Hall, Dr Kirsten Coppell,Sera Tabakau, Professor Robert Scragg,Judith Leveanisiga.

Principal Investigator:

  • Dr Ofa Dewes, Department of Molecular Medicine and School of Nursing, University of Auckland


Implementing the New Zealand Weight Management Guidelines for Children, Young People and Adults

Diabetes and obesity rate among the significant health disparities Pacific peoples face. Obesity is a major risk factor of type 2 diabetes. In New Zealand (NZ), 27% of Pacific children and 68% Pacific adults are obese.

Reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity is likely to promote individual health and wellbeing whilst reducing inequality and the financial burden of public health funding for treating and managing preventable illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.

The NZ Weight Management Guidelines is a call to action to tackle type 2 diabetes and obesity. Improving weight management outcomes is a Guideline priority and key objective for reducing the obesity epidemic and its consequences, in order to achieve better health outcomes. The uptake of the Guidelines is therefore critical. This HRC-funded (2013-2014) research project aimed to implement the NZ Weight Management Guidelines in a culturally-centred and integrated way into existing church systems.

Our research has provided valuable information directly relevant to national guidelines on the most effective ways to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and obesity among Pacific peoples. Key signs of success include an increase in physical activity, no increase in BMI, a 90% retention rate of participants over 12 months, and a continuation of the programme in these communities post-study.

Read more about this community-based study

Weight management programme in Pacific communities, HRC News, 9 September, 2015

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