Professor Barry Taylor
Professor Barry Taylor
All research projects

Evidence-based and culturally-appropriate advice to support children with rapid weight gain

Awarded $495,735 in funding
Over 2 years, starting in 2021 via Mission-led research

Improving our knowledge about weight gain in young children

One third of our young tamariki are an unhealthy weight prior to starting school, which has implications for their future health and wellbeing.

However a big gap exists in current knowledge about how best to manage children when excessively rapid weight gain is identified as part of routine childcare. To help improve the situation, Professor Barry Taylor, from the University of Otago, will lead a team to:

• identify current best evidence when excessively rapid infant growth occurs,

• identify best practice for delivering this information to different ethnic groups using culturally appropriate focus groups of WellChild providers,

• develop real-time decision support software to aid practitioners (that adjusts for cultural context);

• (and in the longer term) use randomized controlled trials to compare this software with standard practice and offer parents options and advice using an app.

If effective and safe options for whānau with rapidly growing infants can be found, enhancing their chances of achieving a healthy weight will improve overall whānau wellbeing in mental health, educational and physical domains.

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