A pilot nutrition survey of the adult Niuean population in Niue : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nutritional Science at Massey University
A pilot nutrition survey was conducted on 50 randomly selected adult Niueans aged between 18 and 60 years, living in Niue. The survey consisted of three visits per person, each encompassing a 24-hour dietary recall, body measurements and questionnaires. The body measurements included weight, height, waist and hip circumference, elbow breadth and body-fat using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. Other measurements taken were of blood pressure and blood glucose. By comparison, the Niuean population have a higher percentage energy contribution from fat and protein but a lower contribution from total carbohydrates than the NZ population. These differences in energy contributions may attribute to some extent to the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the Niuean population. Some nutrient intakes were inadequate and are of some concern particularly calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Forty-four percent and forty percent of the subjects had calcium and iron intakes below two-thirds of the RDI respectively. Alcohol consumption was much more common among the men than the women. Based on the reported volumes consumed 83% of the men who drank alcohol, drank to intoxicating levels well above the legal limit, during a drinking session. The average weight of the Niuean men was 92 kg; some 13 kg heavier than the average in 1987 and 23 kg heavier than the average in 1953. Likewise with the women whose average weight was 87 kg; 10 kg heavier than the average in 1987 and 25 kg heavier than the average in 1953. The prevalence of obesity and overweight in the Niuean population studied is very high, in both the men and the women. The prevalence of obesity was observed to be 1 in 2 men, an increase of at least five times the rate it was 22 years ago. Prevalence of obesity among the women over the same period has also increased to be 2 in 3 women.