Lead investigator of the programme Dr Riz Firestone of Massey University says the prevalence rates of prediabetes among the young working age groups of Pacific people, aged between 18 to 45 years, is alarmingly high.
“If left untreated, the chances of developing potentially fatal long-term conditions are great,” says Dr Firestone.
“An effective intervention programme that adopts a culturally-centred approach, is led by the community, and encompasses the social-physical-cultural realities of the environment is necessary to tackle the growing epidemic of prediabetes.”
Gavin says obesity affects 67% of the Pacific island population in New Zealand, “it’s a risk factor for non-communicable disease; about 13.5% of young Pacific people are affected by prediabetes compared to 7% for NZ Europeans.”
“So you can see why this is critical, why it’s important.
“If we target Pacific youth now, then in the long term, we are hoping to shift our current trajectory by reducing our high rates of NCDs.”