May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Fight your family flab with Captain FAB!

3 min read

South Auckland has a new super hero and he is recruiting flab fighters for his next crusade.

Samoan soul singer Lapi Mariner is ‘Captain FAB’ and the new ambassador for the University of Auckland’s Fanau FAB (Food, Activity, Behavior) research programme.

Aimed at Pacific families with at least one child aged between 5-12 years old, the FREE eight to 10 week programme gives families an opportunity to lose weight together and learn about living a healthier lifestyle. 100 families have been recruited and only100 places remain, with registrations closing at the end of September!

I wanted to be an ambassador for this programme because I personally know the benefits of healthy living, says Lapi. I am on my own weight loss journey and have already shed 30kgs. There is an obesity problem in our community. People are suffering with high blood pressure and diabetes. We don’t want our children to follow in those footsteps.

I see my kids’ friends going to school with a fizzy drink, a meat pie and a big packet of chips. That’s their lunch. This shows me that there is a need for more nutritional education for our families. My children are ambassadors for Fanau FAB too and I hope that encourages their friends and peers to get on board. We need 100 families. We need you!

The study, led by Dr Ofa Dewes of the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health, Pacific Health, aims to find the best way to help our fanau (children) to grow into a healthy weight, and for adults to reduce and maintain a healthy weight. The main focus of the research is to monitor the progress of the children.

Our children are our future, says Dr Dewes.

It is important we give them the skills and knowledge to lead long, active lives. The results from this programme will allow our research team to develop a long-term weight management programme for Pacific children and their families.

Participation is entirely voluntary and, to be eligible, families only need to meet four simple criteria. They must belong to a Pacific ethnic group, live in South Auckland (Mangere, Otara, Papatoetoe or nearby these centres), have at least one child between the ages of 5-12 years that needs help to manage their weight, and have at least one parent or caregiver available to attend weekly sessions.

At an initial interview the family will learn about the programme and if the criteria is met, will be selected to participate.

There is also a free babysitting service available so parents don’t have to worry about finding a place to take their younger children while they participate in the workshop.

I encourage all our families to be part of this programme, adds Lapi. The fact that it is for parents and children makes it so much stronger than targeting an individual. We know that as Pacific people, our families come first. Together, we are powerful. So lets prove it.

And imagine how much fun it’s going to be when we bring our friends and families along, too. I don’t know any Pacific Islander that doesn’t have fun and a good laugh when they get together with their peers!

To participate in the programme, contact a recruiter today on (09) 9186326 or 0212138601 or email [email protected]

Key information:

  • The Fanau FAB programme is run by the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health, Pacific Health, and funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand
  • Families benefit from the programme by receiving FREE training and advice from professionals, education about physical activity and nutrition to aid in living a healthier lifestyle, FREE babysitting services for younger children and in many cases, a decrease in weight.
  • 100 families need to be recruited by the end of September in order to commence programmes in October and200 South Auckland, Pacific Island families will benefit from this project! (ends)

High Resolution images are available on request.

Lapi Mariner and Dr Ofa Dewes are available for interviews.

Please contact Qiane Matata-Sipu on 0210390362 or [email protected]

4 thoughts on “Fight your family flab with Captain FAB!

  1. Wow, way to support and encourage people trying to do better for themselves. As you can appreciate, it is tough for any family to say yes, I really want to focus on this issue and get the support I need to lead a healthier lifestyle.

    You can call it what you like but what we here at see is a proactive campaign to bring his community along with him on this important journey. It should be an inspiration as Lapi is respected and wants to help out anyone like him that needs support. If you really wanted, he would probably help your family because my guess is, his entire family would appreciate being with like minds and this kind of effort is great with supportive people all around you. These are the hands that help you up, the voices that encourage you along.

    I wouldn’t call this racist – I would call this proactive community health. But hei aha, thank you for making the comment. Don;t agree but kei a koe te korero. Kia kaha Lapi me whanau hoki.

  2. Wow racist much? yes there is a problem in our community but I think it’s rediculous that you must come from a polynesian background to be accepted, it should be open to all who are willing and need the help and may not be able to afford it under the circumstances. I have relatives who are not of pacific ethnicity who would really benefit from this program immensely and to turn them away because of their nationality? What would our community say if that was said to us?

    1. Hello it is a research programme that targets polynesians. Dr Ofa Dewes works for the Pacific health team at the University of Auckland and I am guessing its the pacific health team for a reason. Read the article properly. If it was’nt pacific you will say “oh not fair it’s in south auckland” get over yourself. I think the community would say AWESOME work and keep us updated.

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