Back to top anchor

Deciphering gender and ethnic disparity in obesity and cardiometabolic disease

54 months
Approved budget:
Dr Jennifer Miles-Chan
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
New Zealand has the third highest rates of obesity in the world. Despite decades of effort to reduce these rates, they continue to rise, particularly in young women and especially amongst Māori and Pacific. With current "one-size-fits-all" interventions ineffectual, attention has turned to more individualised approaches. However effective ethnic- and gender-specific strategies are lacking owing to an absence of unifying explanation for the disparity in obesity prevalence. Following several years’ experience in top-level Swiss laboratories, I have gained expertise in metabolic-phenotyping for cardiometabolic disease risk and intend to bring this unique skill-set back to New Zealand to specifically address this issue. Combining these skills, state-of-the-art techniques, and world-class local expertise we will decipher the physiological basis of these health inequalities. Knowledge gained will enable us to re-calibrate existing diet/lifestyle recommendations, increasing efficacy. Ultimately, this tailored approach will improve not only the health of women but also the well-being of generations.