Major science event presents latest research on our “Diabesity” epidemic
Getting teenagers more active and how our gut hormones impact on obesity are just two of a wide range of topics being discussed at a major gathering of top national and international researchers at Auckland City Hospital today.
The major international symposium The Diabesity Crisis: How can we make a difference? is a forum hosted by three leading research groups to make a difference to the diabetes and obesity (diabesity) epidemics in New Zealand. It was launched by the Minister for Science and Innovation the Hon Paul Goldsmith.
Key researchers presented the latest findings on how to respond to the linked epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Professor Dave Lubans from the University of Newcastle in Australia has looked at how to keep teenagers active. He will talk about how to get teenagers off their screens and into physical activity. Professor Rachel Batterham, from the Centre for Obesity Research, University College, London, has led research on the genetic basis of obesity and how a specific gut hormone PYY has a big role in regulating our weight. She will talk about the role of gut hormones in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes.
More than 250,000 New Zealanders are living with diabetes, one in four children are over- weight or obese, as are one in three adults. The rates are rising for both diabetes and obesity and together they constitute a major health and wellbeing challenge for the country. With such high numbers of New Zealanders with diabetes and the rapid increase which is faster than any other health condition, and high levels of pre-diabetes, we need to tackle these issues on a national scale.
The Diabesity Crisis is hosted by three leading New Zealand research groups:
· The Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre has worked to reduce the global burden of these disease through research and education for the past decade.
· A Better Start National Science Challenge has a specific focus on finding better ways to predict, prevent and treat obesity in children and teenagers.
· The Healthier Lives National Science Challenge aims to reduce adult diabetes and obesity in line with World Health Organisation recommendations.
For media: Gilbert Wong, A Better Start National Science Challenge, 021 917942; Fleur Templeton, Healthier Lives National Science Challenge 021 225 4218