Research / Culturally centred health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples

Pasifika Prediabetes Youth Empowerment Programme

Empowering Pacific Island communities to lead healthier lifestyles

illustration of community-centred health
Project Status: Completed Funding: $999,850 Timeframe: Oct 2017 – Sep 2020



Take | Issue

Pacific peoples have higher rates of obesity and prediabetes at younger ages than other groups in the New Zealand population. Around 13.6% of Pacific youth aged 15-24, and 29.6% of Pacific adults aged 25-44, have prediabetes (compared to 7% and 16% respectively for the same age groups in the New Zealand European population).  If left untreated, prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes and lead to significant health problems in later life.

Whāinga | Aim

This study investigated whether Pacific communities could be empowered to lead healthier, independent lives through community-led lifestyle intervention programmes which use a culturally-centred approach and consider the social-physical-cultural realities of the environment. In particular, the project examined whether such interventions are effective in reducing the prevalence of risk factors for prediabetes.

Huarahi I Whāia | Approach

Working collaboratively with Pacific communities, this study implemented and evaluated two separate intervention programmes:

  • Youth empowerment programme obesity study (15-24 year olds)
  • Young adults prediabetes study (25-45 year olds)

Both programmes build the knowledge, understanding and advocacy skills of youth leaders to empower behavioural change in their communities, aimed at reducing the prevalence of risk factors for prediabetes.


This project was funded by:

The Ministry of Health, Health Research Council of New Zealand, and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, as part of the Long-Term Conditions Partnership.


Knowledge Exchange

Project Team

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