SA: UH Seeking Participants for Native Hawaiian Dietary Study

University of Hawaii to study Native Hawaiian dietary health
Star-Advertiser 27 Sep. 2021

”There isn’t enough information about how Native Hawaiian babies are eating and growing.” -Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, UH associate professor of human nutrition

University of Hawaii officials are seeking participants for a statewide study on the dietary habits of Native Hawaiian mothers and their babies.

Due to a lack of data, researchers are trying to determine how first feeding milestones affect the growth and overall health of Native Hawaiian babies. They say the joint effort — which includes the UH Manoa Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences; the John A. Burns School of Medicine; the UH Cancer Center; and Purdue University — is needed to show how reducing obesity early in life can improve health outcomes for Native Hawaiians. Researchers also point out that Native Hawaiians are at higher risk of obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular risks compared with other groups in the country.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study seeks to guide future intervention strategies and promote wellness and healthy eating among Native Hawaiians.

“There isn’t enough information about how Native Hawaiian babies are eating and growing,” Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, UH associate professor of human nutrition and the study’s lead investigator, said in a statement. “Through promoting healthy and thriving babies, new mommies and families, we are hopeful that improved outcomes would follow. This study will make a meaningful impact on the Native Hawaiian community.”

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NUTRITION STUDY

Native Hawaiian expectant moms, age 18 and older, who live in Hawaii and have a smartphone qualify for the study.

Their babies’ vitals will be recorded at birth, and moms are asked to complete a survey at two months.

At four, six, nine and 12 months, moms also will use an app to upload pictures of their and their babies’ meals for three days.

For more information, and to sign up for the study, email whrc@ucera.org or call 375-3785.

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