Healthy lifestyle tips winning families over

Taranaki families are getting healthier every month as more people sign up for a weight intervention programme.

Sport Taranaki's Whanau Pakari programme has had 147 referrals since it started in January.

Dr Yvonne Anderson who is heading the service says there's been great response to the programme that is clearly needed in Taranaki.

"Initial findings are encouraging at the six month mark, with children in the programme eating healthier, being more active, having less screen time and indicating improvements in quality of life," she said.

The multi-disciplinary intervention programme is for children and adolescents in the region with weight issues.

It's focused on working with whanau to make healthy lifestyle changes and is already seeing positive effects.

"These are early results and we will only know if the programme has worked for participants if they continue to make lifestyle changes over time," Dr Anderson said.

Whanau Pakari aims to target Maori whanau to help combat the disproportionate number of Maori children who are overweight.

About 53 per cent of the participants are Maori.

The first recruits who started on the programme in January are due to graduate at the end of this school term.

Intervention programmes are run in New Plymouth and Hawera.

Referrals can be made by health professionals including doctors, nurses, dietitians, public health and Maori providers.

Taranaki Daily News