Body image and its relation to obesity for Pacific minority ethnic groups in New Zealand: A critical analysis

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dc.contributor.author Teevale, Tasileta en
dc.coverage.spatial New Zealand en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-25T03:23:01Z en
dc.date.issued 2011 en
dc.identifier.citation Pacific Health Dialog 17(1):33-53 2011 en
dc.identifier.issn 1015-7867 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18453 en
dc.description.abstract The stimulus behind most of the early investigations into Pacific or Polynesian peoples’ body image, particularly those that looked to compare with Western or Westernised groups, is the assumption that Pacific peoples valued and therefore desired very large bodies, and in relation to obesity-risk, this is a problematic cultural feature to have. This may be driven by popular anecdotes which are captured in the title of one such study “Do Polynesians still believe that big is beautiful?” (Craig, Swinburn, Matenga-Smith, Matangi, & Vaughn, 1996). To the author’s knowledge, no research in Pacific peoples’ body image has been conducted in the New Zealand (NZ) context by Pacific researchers. This study makes a contribution to the literature gap and more importantly through an emic viewpoint. A critique of the current literature is provided below which calls into question the initial catalyst behind earlier investigations which have led to the perpetuation of particular types of body image research for Pacific groups. Using mixed-methods, the specific objective of this study was to describe the behaviours, beliefs and values of Pacific adolescents and their parents, that are related to body image. A self-completion questionnaire was administered to 2495 Pacific students who participated in the New Zealand arm of the Obesity Prevention In Communities (OPIC) project. Sixty-eight people (33 adolescents and 35 parents) from 30 Pacific households were interviewed in the qualitative phase of the study. This study found Pacific adolescents and their parents did not desire obesity-sized bodies but desired a range of average-sized bodies that met their Pacific-defined view of health. It is not clear whether body image research makes any meaningful contribution to obesity prevention for Pacific people, given the cultural-bounded nature of the concept ‘body image’ which sits at opposite ends of societal worldviews and value-systems. These differences pose substantial threats to communication and understanding between obesity interventionists and all healthcare workers generally and Pacific communities. For obesity interventions to be acceptable and useful for Pacific people, they must be responsive to the beliefs and desires of these communities. en
dc.language English en
dc.publisher Pacific Health Dialog; The Authors en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Pacific Health Dialog en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.subject obesity en
dc.subject pacific en
dc.subject new zealand en
dc.subject adolescents en
dc.title Body image and its relation to obesity for Pacific minority ethnic groups in New Zealand: A critical analysis en
dc.type Journal Article en
pubs.issue 1 en
pubs.begin-page 33 en
pubs.volume 17 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: Pacific Health Dialog; The Authors en
dc.identifier.pmid 23008969 en
pubs.author-url http://www.pacifichealthdialog.org.fj/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Itemid=64 en
pubs.end-page 53 en
pubs.publication-status Published en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 304131 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-02-27 en
pubs.dimensions-id 23008969 en


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