6. Church-based health promotion

Churches can be both a socially- and culturally-appropriate setting for health promotion interventions. Churches are significant places for Pacific communities and have regular access to young people, their families and their peers.

Most health promotion interventions in churches in New Zealand have focused on lifestyle changes such as obesity prevention and weight loss [see here, here and here]. These interventions have been shown to work in Pacific communities.

It is important to tailor any health promotion programme so that it is culturally appropriate. More will be discussed in Get Prepared. As such, it is crucial to engage and gain support from church ministers and leaders in order to make your programmes more visible and appropriate to the church community. Collaboration between churches, church ministers and leaders and the health sectors are important.