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

 
Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>


Howard Davis: Review - The Cosmic Dance Of 'String Theory'

Fly My Pretties sixth album is quite possibly their best yet - a concept album in the best sense, with superb arrangements, funky grooves, and some great vocalizing, all organized around the lyrical leitmotif of string theory. More>>

Non-Natural History: Dinosaur Eggs 'Discovered' At Auckland Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens plant curators have unearthed what are thought to be prehistoric dinosaur eggs in the Gondwana Forest section of the expansive garden in Manurewa... In fact, the “dinosaur eggs” are part of an innovative, larger-than-life dinosaur performance and display featuring a raptor, a crested therapod and a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex. More>>

For The Birds: Kōkako Crowned Bird Of The Year

The Kōkako has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after two weeks of close competition and heated campaigning. More>>

ALSO:

  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news