August 12, 2013
Fat smoke combo sapping health
Obesity is starting to overtake smoking as a significant cause of deteriorating health among Māori.
Bernard Te Paa, the general manger for Māori health at Counties Manukau District Health Board, says the trend is apparent in the Health Ministry’s latest Burden of Disease study.
It found Māori health loss from illness and injury was almost 1.8 times higher than non-Māori, and happens at a younger age.
Mr Te Paa says the data on specific causes of health loss like coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer paints a picture of increasing health loss, with poor eating and exercise habits a factor.
"We’ve got to make sure we continue to remain active, because if you are active and you are smoke free you are getting a double whammy in terms of better health outcomes. Being active, eating the right food and not smoking, I think if we were able to nail those three things, then I think we would have significant changes in our life expectancy as Māori," he says.
Mr Te Paa says there is a close relationship between income and a family’s ability to eat healthy food, which has a big impact on the negative health outcomes in Counties Manukau.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd