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Dr Sherly Parackal

Contact Details

Phone
+64 3 479 7278
Email
sherly.parackal@otago.ac.nz
Position
Senior Research Fellow
Qualifications
BSc (Chemistry, Botany, Zoology), PG Dip (Food Science and Nutrition), MSc (Food Service Management and Dietetics), PG Dip (Nutritional Science), PhD (Nutritional Science)
Research summary
Diet-related non-communicable diseases in the Asia-Pacific region, migrant health, Asian health, ethnic-specific dietary assessment, community-centred intervention design, development and implementation (co-design)
Memberships

Research

Sherly is the research lead in non-communicable diseases (Epidemiology and Prevention) at the Centre for International Health.

Sherly migrated to New Zealand from southern India in the mid-nineties. She is the Principal Investigator of the COVID-19 Diet and Activity study in Bandung, Indonesia, in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia. Sherly is also initiating a diabetes prevention project in Indonesia.

Sherly is the Principal Investigator of the EMIGRATE project, investigating the health trajectory of ethnic voluntary migrants in Aotearoa, New Zealand and a key investigator in the Cancer Disparity Research led by Professor Rathan Subramaniam.

Projects

Diet, activity, and medicine usage in South Asians at risk for cardiovascular disease in Aotearoa New Zealand

Investigators and affiliations:

  • Dr Sherly Parackal, Centre for International Heath, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell, Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine University of Otago, Wellington
  • Dr Mudassir Anwar, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago
  • Dr Sumera Akhtar, Centre for International Heath, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago

Funding: Otago Medical Research Foundation Laurenson Bequest Award

Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most potent killer in New Zealand (NZ) with NZ South Asians (SA) being one of the three high risk groups. Nevertheless, targeted prevention measures for NZ SAs are glaringly negligible. Poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles are strongly associated with CVD as is poor medicine usage among SAs with diabetes, a risk factor for CVD. International research demonstrates the importance of first gaining an understanding of health beliefs, knowledge, and behaviours related to diet, physical activity, and medicine usage before designing ethnic-specific interventions to reduce CVD burden. We aim to gain this understanding for SAs in NZ, which is not known.

Diet and physical activity related health beliefs, knowledge and behaviour of South Asians with pharmacologically untreated hypercholesterolemia in Aotearoa New Zealand

Investigators and affiliations:

  • Dr Sherly Parackal, Centre for International Heath, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell, Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine University of Otago, Wellington
  • Dr Sumera Akhtar, Centre for International Heath, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago

Funding: Otago Medical Research Foundation Laurenson Bequest Award

Abstract: South Asians (SAs) have particularly high rates of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Diseases (ASCVD), such as coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral arterial disease. NZ SAs are one of the three high risk groups for high blood cholesterol, a key risk factor of ASCVD, nevertheless targeted prevention measures are absent. Epidemiological investigations have identified a positive association between dietary saturated fats and the increased risk of ASCVD. Our recently completed study indicates that most participants treated for high blood cholesterol were diagnosed at a young age and were disheartened for not being able to manage the disease via lifestyle changes. What is unknown is whether SAs with medically untreated high blood cholesterol have the knowledge to make lifestyle changes and if they have received culturally appropriate professional advice to enable this. The current study aims to address this gap in our knowledge to inform clinical practice and develop an ethnic-specific intervention.

Student projects as primary supervisor

Co-designing a diabetes prevention program for urban communities in Bandung, Indonesia.
Candidate: Mrs Noormarina Indraswari
Degree: PhD

Postdoctoral supervision

Improving service delivery for NZ South Asian women with gestational diabetes in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Candidate: Dr Sumera Akhtar

Funding: HRC Career Development Award, 2024

Abstract: South Asian women are at high risk of developing gestational diabetes and are almost four times more likely than other New Zealand ethnicities. Women with gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes(T2DM) within five to ten years of an index pregnancy. Despite the higher rates of GDM among South Asians, there is a gap in our understanding of the lived experiences, knowledge and management of GDM, which would inform and improve GDM care for NZ South Asian women.

Publications

Parackal, S., Parackal, M., & Akhtar, S. S. (2023). A cross-sectional study on alcohol and contraception use among sexually active women of childbearing age: Implications for preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies. Women's Health, 19, 1-10. doi: 10.1177/17455057231161479

Xiang, V., Parackal, S., Gurung, G., & Subramaniam, R. (2023). Asian migrants navigating New Zealand primary care: A qualitative study. Journal of Primary Health Care, 15(1), 30-37. doi: 10.1071/hc22132

Parackal, S. (2023). Post-migration food habits of New Zealand South Asian migrants: Implications for health promotion practice. Journal of Migration & Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jmh.2023.100182

Parackal, S., Coppell, K., Lam Yang, C., Sullivan, T., & Subramaniam, R. (2021). Hidden figures and misnomers: A case for disaggregated Asian health statistics in Aotearoa New Zealand to improve health outcomes. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1546), 109-116. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Parackal, S., Skidmore, P., Fleming, L., Bailey, K., Bradbury, K., & Wall, C. (2021). Stepwise tailoring and test-retest of reproducibility of an ethnic specific food frequency questionnaire for South Asians in New Zealand. Public Health Nutrition, 24(9), 2447-2454. doi: 10.1017/s1368980021001208

Parackal, S. (2023). Post-migration food habits of New Zealand South Asian migrants: Implications for health promotion practice. Journal of Migration & Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jmh.2023.100182

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Parackal, M., & Akhtar, S. S. (2023). A cross-sectional study on alcohol and contraception use among sexually active women of childbearing age: Implications for preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies. Women's Health, 19, 1-10. doi: 10.1177/17455057231161479

Journal - Research Article

Xiang, V., Parackal, S., Gurung, G., & Subramaniam, R. (2023). Asian migrants navigating New Zealand primary care: A qualitative study. Journal of Primary Health Care, 15(1), 30-37. doi: 10.1071/hc22132

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, M., Parackal, S., Mather, D., & Eusebius, S. (2021). Dynamic transactional model: A framework for communicating public health messages via social media. Perspectives in Public Health, 141(5), 279-286. doi: 10.1177/1757913920935910

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Skidmore, P., Fleming, L., Bailey, K., Bradbury, K., & Wall, C. (2021). Stepwise tailoring and test-retest of reproducibility of an ethnic specific food frequency questionnaire for South Asians in New Zealand. Public Health Nutrition, 24(9), 2447-2454. doi: 10.1017/s1368980021001208

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Smith, C., & Skidmore, P. (2020). Diet quality, nutrient intakes and biochemical status of New Zealand women of childbearing age according to alcohol consumption patterns. Public Health Nutrition, 23(16), 2952-2962. doi: 10.1017/s1368980019003781

Journal - Research Article

Sam, C. H. Y., Skidmore, P., Skeaff, S., Parackal, S., Wall, C., & Bradbury, K. E. (2020). Relative validity and reproductivity of a short food frequency questionnaire to assess nutrient intakes of New Zealand adults. Nutrients, 12(3), 619. doi: 10.3390/nu12030619

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, M., & Parackal, S. (2019). A renewed media-mix, based on the dynamic transactional model, for communicating the harms of alcohol to women in New Zealand. Health Promotion International, 34, 921-930. doi: 10.1093/heapro/day033

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Parackal, M., & Harraway, J. (2019). Associated factors of drinking prior to recognising pregnancy and risky drinking among New Zealand women aged 18 to 35 Years. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 16(10), 1822. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101822

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, M., & Parackal, S. (2017). Implication of alcohol consumption on aggregate wellbeing. Perspectives in Public Health, 137(4), 220-226. doi: 10.1177/1757913916669538

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, M., Parackal, S., Eusebius, S., & Mather, D. (2017). The use of Facebook advertising for communicating public health messages: A campaign against drinking during pregnancy in New Zealand. JMIR Public Health & Surveillance, 3(3), e49. doi: 10.2196/publichealth.7032

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. (2017). Dietary transition in the South Asian diaspora: Implications for diabetes prevention strategies. Current Diabetes Reviews, 13(5), 482-487. doi: 10.2174/1573399812666160901094741

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Stewart, J., & Ho, E. (2017). Exploring reasons for ethnic disparities in diet- and lifestyle-related chronic disease for Asian sub-groups in New Zealand: A scoping exercise. Ethnicity & Health, 22(4), 333-347. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2016.1246424

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. M., Smith, C., & Parnell, W. R. (2015). A profile of New Zealand 'Asian' participants of the 2008/09 Adult National Nutrition Survey: Focus on dietary habits, nutrient intakes and health outcomes. Public Health Nutrition, 18(5), 893-904. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014001049

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. M., Parackal, M. K., & Harraway, J. A. (2013). Prevalence and correlates of drinking in early pregnancy among women who stopped drinking on pregnancy recognition. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 17(3), 520-529. doi: 10.1007/s10995-012-1026-7

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. M., Parackal, M. K., & Harraway, J. A. (2010). Warning labels on alcohol containers as a source of information on alcohol consumption in pregnancy among New Zealand women. International Journal of Drug Policy, 21(4), 302-305. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2009.10.006

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. M., Parackal, M. K., Harraway, J. A., & Ferguson, E. L. (2009). Opinions of non-pregnant New Zealand women aged 16-40 years about the safety of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Drug & Alcohol Review, 28(2), 135-141. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2008.00018.x

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Ferguson, E., & Harraway, J. (2007). Alcohol and tobacco consumption among 6-24-months post-partum New Zealand women. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 3, 40-51.

Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Coppell, K., Lam Yang, C., Sullivan, T., & Subramaniam, R. (2021). Hidden figures and misnomers: A case for disaggregated Asian health statistics in Aotearoa New Zealand to improve health outcomes. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1546), 109-116. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Other

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