Dr Yvonne Anderson
Dr Yvonne Anderson
All research projects

Evaluation of a healthy lifestyle app for screening of weight

Awarded $250,000 in funding
Over 2 years, starting in 2021 via Mission-led research

Obesity affects approximately 79,000 children aged 2-14 years in New Zealand. Contemporary international data from 2.3 million teens show that those affected are almost five times more likely to die from coronary heart disease within 40 years compared with normal-weight peers.

In New Zealand, higher rates of obesity are experienced by Māori (1.6 times), Pasifika (4.7 times), and those living in the most deprived areas (2.7 times) when compared with other population groups. Despite this, current services for addressing this issue nationally are minimal, with limited access to strengths-based, equitable healthy lifestyle programmes, despite these being recommended as international best practice. 

Effective support for children affected by obesity requires addressing a wide range of weight-related conditions (comorbidities), including sleep apnoea, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and mental wellbeing.

Whānau Pakari, a multi-disciplinary healthy lifestyle programme for children and adolescents with obesity based in Taranaki, has developed a Healthy Lifestyle Check app to individualise care and provide efficient screening of weight-related conditions in a non-judgmental, non-stigmatising home-based assessment.

This project, led by Dr Yvonne Anderson of the University of Auckland, aims to evaluate the implementation of the Healthy Lifestyle Check app within Whānau Pakari, with the potential to inform the scale-up of healthy lifestyle programmes nationwide.

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