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Empowering the next generation as catalysts for a better future

36 months
Approved budget:
Miss Melenaite Tohi
Professor Mark Vickers
Dr Jacquie Bay
Dr Siobhan Tu'akoi
Dr Ofa Dewes
Dr Suzanne Trask
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Pacific Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. In the Cook Islands, approximately 90% of adults are overweight/obese with 80% of all deaths attributable to NCDs. Of increasing concern is the prevalence of NCD risk factors in adolescents with over 50% of 13-15 years old overweight/obese. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop NCD preventative strategies rather than focusing on strategies to manage NCDs once already manifest. It is well established that alterations in the early life nutritional environment can predispose to later NCD risk. Further, empowering adolescents as the next generation of parents affords the opportunity to break the cycle of NCDs. This project therefore encompasses development and dissemination of resources around the importance of the early life nutritional environment on future health outcomes and development of resources with adolescents, as future parents, to enable the community to act for a better future.