A challenge of 28-day, a Pasifika way intervention to reduce free sugar consumption : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Public Health at Massey University, Wellington Campus, New Zealand

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Background: The direct link between excess free sugar consumption with negative health effects including dental caries, heart disease, diabetes and obesity is well documented. Pacific people in New Zealand experience a disproportionate burden from the above said health conditions in term of morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization defines free sugar as – monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrated. A group-based brief intervention for sugar consumption reduction was piloted among a group of Pacific participants. Aim: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of a group-based intervention for sugar reduction with Pacific people. Methods: This study explored the feasibility of a brief group-based intervention aimed at reducing sugar consumption within the Pacific community. Participants were recruited via word of mouth from the Auckland community. The pre-post intervention delivered two group based sessions plus ongoing support via social media over a 28 day period. The intervention was grounded on self-determination theory which supports autonomy, competence and relatedness. It delivered goal setting and a simple set of planning techniques (action planning and coping planning) plus self-monitoring. Participants completed baseline assessment via Qualtrics and then again 28 days post-intervention. Data analysis involved a mixed methods approach which involved both quantitative and qualitative data collection. Results: Twenty four participants were recruited for the study. Quantitative analysis indicated a significant reduction in sugar consumption and a significant increase in self-efficacy. The majority of participants were mostly or very satisfied with the program materials. Generally they agreed action plans were initially developed and participants knew how, where and when they would reduce sugar consumption. Qualitative data indicated the majority of participants found the plans very helpful. Interestingly, participants stated they would have liked more ownership of peer support. Conclusion: In conclusion, the study findings support the feasibility of a group-based intervention for sugar reduction with Pacific people. Future research can build on these findings to develop improved group-based interventions. Future studies might also ensure recruitment from all Pacific ethnic groups and from the wider Pacific community in New Zealand.