5 Nov 2009

School of medicine in Hawaii welcomes fund for obesity related disparities

11:52 am on 5 November 2009

The lead investigator of a study into obesity-related disparities in Hawaii says a new grant will allow it to address the problems surrounding obesity and diabetes.

The school of Medicine at the University of Hawaii has been given 600,000 US dollars to expand its Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Interventions Programme.

The two-year grant has been given by the US bases National Center on Minority Health and Health.

The Principal Investigator of the study, Dr J Keawe Kaholokula says community assessment can inform policy makers in how to deal with health disparities.

"We're actually looking at things that influence obesity; looking upstream to prevent diabetes. But with this as well, we're also including a diabetes intervention. So with our community assessment, we're looking specifically at obesity and diabetes; how we can develop programmes to address these problems in the Pacific."

Dr Kaholokula says researchers will conduct focus groups and interviews to identify problems with the current health infrastructure and to come up with strategies to solve them.