Whānau Pakari programme attracts international speakers

12 December 2019

Ground-breaking research in Taranaki engaging the community to address weight issues in children and teens has attracted further international visitors, this time from Harvard. Dr Yvonne Anderson, paediatrician, clinical researcher, and chair of Tamariki Child Health and Wellbeing Trust says “We are delighted to be hosting international visitors of such high calibre to the region. It comes at a time when we are celebrating over 1,000 referrals to the Whānau Pakari programme, and the creation of Tamariki Pakari to widen the research vision to enhance child health and wellbeing. Opportunities to knowledge-share and learn with international researchers is of huge benefit to New Zealand research efforts”, Anderson says.

Professor David Ludwig is an endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. He is co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center and founder of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program, one of the country’s oldest and largest clinics for the care of children with weight issues. “The World Health Organization has made a clear recommendation that family-based, multi-component lifestyle weight management programmes should be part of care for children affected by obesity globally” Ludwig says. “Unfortunately, uptake of these programmes has been slow internationally. The work of Dr Anderson and her team in Taranaki show that, not only can these programmes be achieved economically within community settings, but they can address issues of equity in healthcare provision. Achieving respectful care that is tailored to participants is critical in addressing this global health issue. I am delighted to be visiting the Whānau Pakari team to share ideas, and work on potential collaborations.”

For more than 20 years, Professor Ludwig has studied the effects of dietary composition on metabolism, body weight and risk for chronic disease – with a special focus on low glycemic index, low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. Described as an “obesity warrior” by Time Magazine, Professor Ludwig has an abiding commitment to alleviating the health disparities affecting ethnic minority and low-income groups – in the clinic, research laboratory and public health arena. Professor Ludwig has written 3 books for the general public, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Always, Hungry? Conquer Cravings, Retrain your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently.

As a chef, Dawn Ludwig has devoted her career to helping people discover the fun, beauty, and delicious taste of natural foods. In addition to training up-and-coming chefs for 20 years, Dawn’s passion is guiding families to incorporate better foods into their everyday lives. She has first-hand experience as a busy mother and business owner putting delicious and nutritious food on the dinner table.

Dawn has now teamed up with her husband, David, and has helped translate his science and years of research into comprehensive recipes, menu plans, and tips for applying the principles to everyday life.

David and Dawn are presenting at two community events. The first – an almost fully-booked Summer seminar at Taranaki Base Hospital on Monday December 16th where David will share his science, and Dawn will bring talks to life with a cooking demonstration, and the second, an interactive dinner at Black Sand pizzeria at Oakura on Tuesday evening.

Mr Martin Barlok, owner of Black Sand pizzeria says “It is great to be part of this community event to welcome guests who are passionate about good food. I really enjoy sharing and learning with people equally keen about healthy food and wellbeing.”

The visit has been supported by the Department of Medicine Charitable Trust. Tamariki Pakari has recently been supported by an innovation grant from TSB Community Trust. Remaining tickets to the seminar and dinner can be secured and paid for by emailing Chartlotte.Rudd@tdhb.org.nz

Photo: David and Dawn Ludwig

Last updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019

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