News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Battling chronic disease and climate change together


Battling chronic disease and climate change together

The increase in diseases like diabetes, cancer and asthma poses an enormous threat to populations and health systems around the globe. But a new approach by world-renowned epidemiologist Professor Neil Pearce suggests an alternative – by tackling chronic diseases and climate change at the same time.

From 2000-2010, Professor Pearce was the Director for the Centre for Public Health Research in the Research School of Public Health at Massey’s Wellington campus, before moving overseas to take up a prestigious role at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Now he’s back in New Zealand to deliver the latest Innovation Lecture at Massey University’s Albany campus on July 24.

Chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancers, respiratory diseases, neurological diseases and mental disorders are non-infectious and non-transferrable. However, attempts to combat them by lifestyle changes alone have been largely unsuccessful.

By linking the agendas for low carbon development and the prevention of these chronic diseases, Professor Pearce argues that both issues can be addressed, with New Zealand uniquely poised to lead the world in this new approach.

“With the Christchurch rebuild and the big planning discussions involving Auckland’s increasing population currently underway, designing environments for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than for cars, is healthy for individuals and the environment. They also represent the best approach to sustainable development,” he says.

The College of Health’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul McDonald says Professor Pearce’s innovative approach invites people to think more broadly.

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Neil Pearce back to Massey. He has been a highly respected global public health leader for more than 30 years. I’m looking forward to hearing his ideas on how we can simultaneously address two critical issues facing humankind in the 21st century: climate change and the rapid emergence of diseases such as cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Addressing complex wicked challenges like these is exactly why the College of Health was created and I’m sure he will feel right at home.“

Professor Pearce’s lecture follows the Vienna Declaration on Nutrition and Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) in the Context of Health 2020 released by the World Health Organisation in early July.

In a paper subsequently published in the British Medical Journal, Professor Pearce and co-author Professor Debbie Lawlor identified a key opportunity in the fight against NCDs – a change in the urban environment where physical activity in a safe, liveable neighbourhood is a daily part of life.

“By creating a clearer focus on changes to the urban environment, the battle against NCDs can also be addressed; the whole can be more than the sum of the parts.”

Neil Pearce is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Director of the Centre for Global NCDs at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He has researched occupational epidemiology, co-authoring the leading textbook in this field; conducted wide-ranging asthma research projects and authored a textbook of asthma epidemiology. He continues to work in a broad range of areas of epidemiological NCD research including epidemiological methods, respiratory disease, neurological disease, cancer, diabetes, indigenous health and occupational and environmental health research. In 2008, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and in 2013 he was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences. He was also President of the International Epidemiological Association from 2008-2011.

The guest lecture will be held at the Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre on the Albany campus of Massey University from 6pm. Reservations are essential.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news