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Public health news from the University of Otago

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Focusing on LGBTIQ+ homelessness

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Friday 6 January 2023

As a young campaigner on social justice and LGBTIQ+ rights, Dr Brodie Fraser has found working as a researcher in the Department of Public Health a perfect mix of their academic and activist interests.

Sovereign rights to health and wellbeing

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Monday 19 December 2022

A passion for upholding sovereign rights to health and wellbeing for tangata whenua has led Dr Paula Toko King to a career in Kaupapa Māori research that encompasses areas of racism, disability, care and protection, youth justice and prison.

Housing the homeless is the first step

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Thursday 15 December 2022

Providing unconditional access to housing is the first step towards improving the mental and physical health and wellbeing of those experiencing homelessness, researchers say.

Postpartum diabetes testing low for women with gestational diabetes

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Wednesday 7 December 2022

Women with gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those without, yet over a ten-year period only half of these women were tested for diabetes within six months of giving birth, a new University of Otago study reveals.

Youth support for smokefree generation policy

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Wednesday 9 November 2022

Young people have shown strong support for the Government’s proposal to introduce a smokefree generation, a study by researchers at the University of Otago has found.

Joining forces against climate change

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Monday 5 September 2022

The Otago Tongan Students’ Association (OTSA) and the Otago Kiribati Islands Students’ Association (OKISA) co-hosted a climate change awareness fundraiser.

Ones to Watch: Maia Dean

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Monday 22 August 2022

Maia Dean is combining her love for physics, chemistry and math to carve out a path for herself and hopefully her community, too.

Rowing with a side of Italian gelato

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Monday 22 August 2022

Soaking up some genuine Italian culture in a relatively tourist-free town was an unexpected bonus for University of Otago students competing in the Under-23 World Championship rowing competition recently.

Student addressing the digital divide

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Thursday 18 August 2022

Second year Bachelor of Applied Science student Owyn Aitken (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Tainui, Ngāti Māhanga) is perhaps one of Otago’s most involved contributors within the technology space right now.

New Bill marks the beginning of the end for cigarettes and tobacco in Aotearoa

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Wednesday 27 July 2022

Researchers from the University of Otago’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, which carries out research to support the Smokefree 2025 goal, welcome the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill that Associate Health Minister Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall introduced to Parliament today.

Acute alcohol use linked to one quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths - study

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Friday 15 July 2022

The authors of a ground-breaking University of Otago, Christchurch study are calling for immediate changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, due to figures showing more than 26 per cent of all suicide deaths in this country involve acute alcohol use.

Janet Hoek wins Critic and Conscience award

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Tuesday 3 May 2022

Regulatory loopholes are contributing to increases in the number of young New Zealanders exposed to nicotine through vaping, warns the winner of the 2022 Critic and Conscience of Society Award.

Study calls for urgent regulation of unhealthy home deliveries

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Wednesday 6 April 2022

Ordering an online Uber Eats, other food, alcohol or vaping delivery from the comfort of your couch is hugely popular – but a new study is calling for urgent Government action, due to concerns unregulated, on-demand home deliveries may be damaging the nation’s health.

The price of keeping kids warm at night

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Wednesday 30 March 2022

The cost of heating a child’s bedroom through the night in a Wellington winter would run through 46 per cent of the government’s Winter Energy Payment, which is paid to qualifying beneficiaries and all superannuitants to help with heating costs, a study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has found.

Nitrate levels in drinking water and bowel cancer

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Friday 4 March 2022

The formation of cancer-causing chemicals in the gut could be at the heart of understanding how high levels of nitrate in our drinking water contribute to increasing the risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, New Zealand researchers say.