December 1, 2017

Pasifika Youth Empowerment Programme: a potential public health approach in tackling obesity-health related issues

Ridvan Tupai Firestone, Anna Matheson, Danielle Prapavessis, Mischa Hamara, Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula, Hana Tuisano, Gertrude Tevita, Jeremy Henderson, Max Schleser and Lis Ellison-Loschmann

AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples

In New Zealand, the burden of obesity is greatest among Pacific people. However, targeted prevention strategies among Pacific communities are needed to learn about how to partner with indigenous groups to successfully apply such strategies. The aim of this study was to pilot the Pasifika Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), which consisted of five interactive learning modules, among 15 Pasifika youth (18–24 years) from Wellington, New Zealand. This article describes the YEP methodology, to understand how to address obesity-related issues for Pasifika youth. At the completion of the YEP, the participants identified three causes of obesity relevant to Pasifika youth and developed preventative action plans targeting these causes: (a) poor diet, (b) lack of education, and (c) lack of physical activity. This study highlights that capacity and capability development of young people in understanding the key issues related to obesity is important to champion culturally acceptable strategies.

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