En­hanc­ing health us­ing ef­fec­tive con­ver­sa­tions

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Mums and their fam­i­lies will be able to make bet­ter food choices for them­selves and their ba­bies as a re­sult of a new pro­gramme for health pro­fes­sion­als who care for preg­nant women and ba­bies.

The Govern­ment is in­vest­ing $2.28 mil­lion in the new work­force de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme, Health Min­is­ter Tony Ryall says.

‘‘[It] will give front-line health work­ers the lat­est ev­i­dence-based re­search into how preg­nancy and early life events can in­flu­ence longterm health out­comes,’’ Mr Ryall says.

‘‘Part of the pro­gramme will be based on the healthy con­ver­sa­tions skills train­ing al­ready used suc­cess­fully over­seas and de­vel­oped by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Southamp­ton.

‘‘Health work­ers learn how to open up pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tions with women about up-to-date healthy weight man­age­ment, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and nu­tri­tion – both dur­ing preg­nancy and through­out chil­dren’s early years.’’

Mr Ryall says this ap­proach gives fam­i­lies the knowl­edge to help them take con­trol and in­flu­ence their health.

The pro­gramme will be run by Gravida: National Cen­tre for Growth and De­vel­op­ment, one of New Zealand’s Cen­tres of Re­search Ex­cel­lence that fo­cuses on dis­cov­er­ing what early life events af­fect long-term health.

Its mem­bers are drawn from New Zealand’s uni­ver­si­ties, med­i­cal, nu­tri­tion and pub­lic health schools, and a range of re­search in­sti­tutes.

The $2.28m fund­ing for the work­force train­ing pro­gramme is ini­tially over three years and the pro­ject will be eval­u­ated for po­ten­tial fur­ther roll out.

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