Food & Nutrition West Auckland

Community leaders in West Auckland New Zealand were interested in exploring how they could address the factors driving poor health and rising obesity in their community

How can you engage people in exploring their own ideas for tackling the complex factors affecting health and obesity in their community
How can you engage people in exploring their own ideas for tackling the complex factors affecting health and obesity in their community

Community leaders and researchers from the University of Auckland were interested in exploring how communities could be involved in developing their own solutions that reflected their own local context. Working with the local ‘Healthy Families’ group a series of workshops were held involving community leaders and students from the local high school. The first workshop introduced some core ideas and tools to the participants to provide them with a common language to talk about the complex interactions involved. In the second workshop they started to develop their own causal maps which were further refined in the third workshop and then used to explore potential interventions.

The casual map included individual factors such as attitudes to fast food and the social and peer pressures that reinforce those attitudes. The map also included broader social factors access to healthy foods and the marketing of unhealthy food choices, as well as individual skills and resources.

As a result the community, with the support of Healthy Families, is now exploring ways of using the model to implement new initiatives in their local community.

Project lead: Dr. David Rees

Timeline: October – November 2018

Location: West Auckland