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Ethnic differences in energy metabolism among New Zealanders

Year:
2016
Duration:
88 months
Approved budget:
$250,000.00
Researchers:
Dr Patricia Whitfield
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
Obesity is predicted to be the leading cause of health loss in New Zealand by 2016. According to recent Ministry of Health data, almost 1 in 3 adult New Zealanders are obese, however rates are closer to 49% for Maori and 68% for Pacific adults. It is increasingly evident that body weight is actively regulated by complex interactions between genetic, metabolic and neural mechanisms that favour energy conservation, and these are likely to differ between ethnicities. Little is known about the ethnic differences in energy expenditure in the New Zealand setting. This research aims to assess the differences in energy expenditure in the major New Zealand ethnic groups. This will then pave the way for research into the most effective obesity interventions for each ethnic group, allowing for a ‘personalised’ approach to obesity management that is ethnic-sensitive and thus potentially more effective