Adolescent health in the Pacific

Co-design and innovation for impactful solutions

“We aim to engage and collaborate with adolescents in the co-design of research projects. It is the best approach to understand their lifestyle, their knowledge, their views and their attitudes towards health and well-being, ”said Professor Caillaud.

The current goal is to understand how physical activity and food intake interact and lead to overweight and obesity in the Pacific context. Like elsewhere in the world, adolescents in the Pacific do not engage in the 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity recommended by the WHO. For example, in New Caledonia, only 14% of girls and 25% of boys responded to these recommendations.

“We have demonstrated that a user-centered digital education program using a combination of wearable technology, peer learning, physical exercise and goal setting can be delivered in a school setting in schools. rural areas of New Caledonia. The program, called iEngage effectively improved physical activity, ”explained Professor Caillaud.

iEngage (co-designed with the company eHealth BE PATIENT specialized in patient-centered modular digital solutions), continuously records physical activity throughout the program. This is essential for assessing physical activity patterns and for supporting the learning of key concepts and skills, as well as for understanding how participants change their physical activity behavior, said Associate Professor Yacef, an expert in physical activity. computer science at the University of Sydney and co-creator of iEngage.

The team is also studying the impact of the food transition occurring in the region. We recently co-designed the first digital 24 hour diet reminder app (iRecall.24-Pacific) adapted to the food available in New Caledonia.

“This means that we have identified relevant foods to include in our database which contains both traditional and imported processed foods. The iRecall.24-Pacific app is modifiable and adaptable to the various contexts of the islands, ”said Professor Caillaud.

Our goal is to bring iRecall.24 and iEngage together to draw the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of energy expenditure and energy intake in adolescents, ”said Professor Caillaud.

“Our work and approach is relevant to Australia and to other communities and countries around the world,” said Associate Professor Galy.

“The CAHW-Pacific Research Node will continue to develop collaborations to achieve genuine engagement with communities and to produce research with impact that will benefit people and societies in the Pacific. For these, we aim to secure an additional funding grant to deploy our framework.

“The future of our adolescents in the Pacific depends on it,” concluded Professor Caillaud.

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