Dr Teresa Gontijo de Castro
Dr Teresa Gontijo de Castro
PhD Public Health
All research projects

National Data Platform For Tracking Children's Growth Trajectories

Awarded $247,116 in funding
Over 2 years, starting in 2022 via Mission-led research

Data sources used to monitor growth among tamariki and rangatahi in New Zealand are fragmented, do not contain information for 0-2-year-olds, have big gaps for school-aged children, and are mostly aggregated at the national level.

This means New Zealand lacks group-specific information (e.g.: by age, region and socio-demographics) on prevalence, trends, and determinants of healthy growth among 0-19-year-olds. This information is crucial if equitable improvements are to be achieved.

This project, led by Teresa Gontijo de Castro of the University of Auckland, aims to prevent unhealthy weight among tamariki and rangatahi by scoping the creation of an integrated monitoring platform for tracking growth trajectories of young people up to 19-year-olds in NZ both nationally and regionally.

Such a system will: i) monitor progress on children`s growth and on reducing obesity and its related inequities nationally and by region; ii) identify areas and sub-populations of higher need or which could provide exemplars of intervention actions; iii) provide the outcome evaluation data for population interventions to maintain healthy weight and; iv) inform, shape and catalyse regional actions to tackle unhealthy weight.

Researchers will map and assess in-depth the potential and limitations of diverse sources of anthropometric data of children up to the age of 19 years in the past two decades to establish what would be required and which sources would be suitable to be included in a national monitoring platform, as well as how this platform could be made available to end-users.

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