Children and adolescents’ health and wellbeing in the Pacific

Understanding young peoples’ lifestyles, views and attitudes to prevent obesity in the Pacific
Taking into account the diversity of cultures and contexts, a multidisciplinary team of researchers and leaders aims to gain a deeper understanding of the multiple Pacific contexts and to co-design interventions with adolescents, their family and their community to prevent obesity.

Our vision is to identify key levers to prevent obesity in adolescents through the implementation of a systems approach at community level.

We aim to understand how the adolescents’ views, attitudes and behaviours towards physical activity, nutrition and sleep are influenced by the systems in which they are embedded, and how this is affecting their health.

To achieve this, we will create a set of assessment tools and methods that will be the foundation to building a data base which will be the powerhouse of our research providing opportunities for modelling interventions or policy changes and their potential impact.

We equally aim to explore how digital health solutions could bring additional benefits and equity.

A key aspect of this node is also to build capacity and to empower communities to explore opportunities for change toward producing the conditions of healthy lifestyles and preventing obesity.

Our work builds on five years of collaboration between the Charles Perkins Centre and the University of New Caledonia on physical activity, diet and nutrition in the Pacific region. We aim to better understand adolescents’ behaviours and how interventions could be designed and implemented to effectively prevent obesity and its complication.

With the team brought together in this node, we aim to further build capacity and to extend the scope of our research.

In particular, key questions we aim to answer include:

  • What are young people’s views and attitudes regarding overweight and obesity and their relationship with health and wellness?
  • What is the best approach to develop a shared data bank bringing together data at individual, family, community and system levels for scientific analysis?
  • Which features of the social, economic, built and natural systems drive children and adolescents’ lifestyles and choices leading to obesity?

Through our ongoing collaboration we have achieved significant outcomes in innovation, publications and grants. We now look forward to further widening our reach, attracting large-scale grants and developing our impact.

Innovation in Digital health

iEngage is a technology supported educational and change behaviour program using a digital platform delivered through an app and activity trackers. Through 10 modules, children learn about physical activity and acquire new skills including setting goals and self-assessing achievements.

The program has been delivered in a rural school in Lifou (New Caledonia) and in urban schools in Sydney.

Grants (selected)

  • 2020 Raubenheimer D, Lenzen M, Caillaud C, Galy O, Bouard S, Fasi J, Iese V, Metsan P. Nutrition, health and food security for Pacific Islands Countries and Territories. Pacific Fund [French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs]. AU$38,000
  • 2019 European H2020-MSCA-RISE-2019. Project lead: University of New Caledonia (Fotsing JM, Galy O)– Australia scientific lead: C Caillaud. Project 873185 — FALAH: Family farming, lifestyle and Health in the Pacific. AU$ 2,065,000
  • 2015 Galy O, Morgan G, Yacef K, Caillaud C, Vermeulen W, Siefken K, Muni Toke V, Lati B. Physical activity for today’s Oceanian youth. PACE-Net Plus Seed-funding. AU$15,200

Publications (selected)

  • Aldwell K, Caillaud C, Galy O, Frayon S, Allman-Farinelli M. Tackling the Consumption of High Sugar Products among Children and Adolescents in the Pacific Islands: Implications for Future Research. Healthcare (Basel). Jul 12; 6(3). pii: E81.,   Review, 2018.
  • Galy O, Yacef K, Caillaud C. Improving Pacific Adolescentsʼ Physical Activity Toward International Recommendations: Exploratory Study of a Digital Education App Coupled With Activity Trackers. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 7(12): e14854.,  2019. 

Our research brings together a team of researchers and community leaders that has expertise across a range of disciplines and cultures.

Providing a forum to voice their concerns, hopes and vision for the future, we will bring adolescents at the centre of our research because they are central to achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Internal collaborators

External collaborators

  • Renata Cinelli
  • Hélène Pichot
  • Gade Waqa
  • Pascal Michon
  • Donald Wilson
  • Viliami Puloka
  • Jean Bernard Bouvier
  • Ilisapeci Pessy
  • Si Thu Win Tin
  • Solene Bernard
  • Bang Nguyen Pham
  • Gwendalyn Vengiau
  • Josephine Maelaua
  • Akila Nedjar Guerre
  • Flouvat Frédéric
  • Frédéric Flouvat
  • Guillaume Wattelez
  • Jean Marie Fotsing
  • Laurent Maggia
  • Lou Perrin
  • Nazha Selmaoui
  • Associate Professor Olivier Galy (Lead)
  • Paul Zongo
  • Pierre Yves Le Roux
  • Stephane Frayon
  • Mark Vickers
  • Siobhan Tu’akoi
  • Jacquie Bay
  • Tsogzolmaa Bayandorj
  • Wendy Snowdown
  • Ofa Dewes

The Node is a network of networks (SFNN: Sydney Food and Nutrition Network, existing CPC nodes; PIURN (Pacific Islands University Research Network), CRESICA (Consortium pour la Recherche, l’Enseignement Supérieur et l’Innovation Calédonien), FALAH (Family Farming, Lifestyle and Health in the Pacific).

Project node leader

Professor Corinne Caillaud
Visit Corinne Caillaud's profile

Project node leader

Associate Professor Olivier Galy
Visit Olivier Galy's profile