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Toolkit 4 Tamariki: Spotlight on pre-schooler obesity

Toolkit 4 Tamariki: Spotlight on pre-schooler obesity

Waikato University clinical psychology student Julie Chatwin wants to talk to parents who have concerns that their pre-schooler may be an unhealthy weight.

Julie is completing her Master of Social Sciences concurrently with a postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Clinical) and is looking to better understand how parents perceive a number of known risk factors for pre-schooler obesity as part of her research.

She points out that the prevalence of childhood obesity has been increasing markedly around the world, including in New Zealand.

“The latest New Zealand Health Survey showed a concerning proportion of children are identified as being overweight or obese. I hope my research will be able to better inform the development of programmes that support families to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. In particular, how to encourage families to participate in these programmes,” says Julie.

The study is a spin off from Bodywise, which is a family focused programme to assist families to make changes towards a healthy lifestyle run by Sport Waikato and Waikids (Waikato DHB) for children aged 5 – 12 years old that have been identified as being an unhealthy weight..

“As there is increasing recognition of the need to address obesity in younger children, I worked with the Bodywise team to adapt the programme for pre-schooler parents, known as Toolkit 4 Tamariki,” Parents who are interested in participating will be interviewed in a semi-structured format. Julie will invite participants to share their story, and to complete a card sorting exercise.

“The card sorting exercise is hopefully a fun and interactive way to show how they would prioritize a number of risk factors for pre-schooler obesity.”

“Your child does not need to have been identified as being overweight or obese, it is only relevant that you (the parent(s)) has some concerns about their weight.”

The interview will take no longer than an hour and each participant will be given a $25 petrol voucher in compensation for attending the interview.

If you are interested in taking part in Julie’s research, she can be contacted at for more information.


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