A Talanoa About Health

Our ancestors came from across the globe to populate the Pacific Island countries including New Zealand. They were great people with excellent navigation skills, and strong physical and mental stamina to survive the long and challenging voyages. Working collectively as peoples of the Pacific has helped us to survive over the years.

We can use similar strengths to fight some of the biggest health problems facing most countries today - chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Being overweight or obese increases our chances of having these diseases.

Fortunately, to a large extent, we can help prevent these diseases in our families and communities. MaiBody, MaiFuture is an initiative that aims to start a dialogue around these issues, providing practical advice from players and access to the best resources to help you on your journey towards better health. Watch some of their stories here and learn about the steps towards better health below:

Steps Towards Better Health

It is never too late to start. You can begin with yourself today to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, by taking steps towards better health. Ask your family and friends to help.

  1. Eat more fresh food and wholegrains, and less processed food

    Highly processed food often contains a lot of unhealthy fats, sugar and salt. Fresh foods and wholegrains contain nutrients and fibre that are important for good health. >>Read more

  2. Avoid sugary drinks

    High sugar intake can lead to increased body weight as well as tooth decay. Choosing water instead of a sugary drink is an easy way to reduce sugar in your diet. >>Read more

  3. Reduce portion sizes

    The size of your hand is a good guide to healthy portion sizes. When serving food for others, it is the size of their hand that counts. >>Read more

  4. Get kids involved in food preparation

    Kids are more likely to try new foods if they have been involved in the preparation. Learning important life skills while they are young will set them up for a healthier future. >>Read more

  5. Be physically active together as a family

    Being physically active is important for everyone’s health. Enjoying physical activity as a family can be fun, and encourages healthy lifelong habits. >>Read more

  6. Limit screen time

    Too much time spent watching screens (TV, computers, phone and other mobile devices) reduces physical activity, social interaction and sleep. >>Read more

  7. Get enough sleep

    Getting the right amount of good quality sleep is important for wellbeing because it affects behaviour, learning, weight and your overall health. The amount of sleep we need varies depending on our age. >>Read more

  8. Enjoy delicious and healthy feasting

    Celebrating special occasions with our family, friends, and community is important to all of us, and we can do this in a healthy way. The Heart Foundation’s Pasifika Flavours cookbook has some delicious and healthy recipes. Pacific Heartbeat offers a variety of nutrition courses in New Zealand which can help you, your family and community eat better and live well.