My ministry idea—Hutt Valley Samoan church

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Hutt Valley Samoan church in North New Zealand hosted a healthy lifestyle program for members and the wider community recently.

Pacific families participated in the initiative—designed to promote health and wellbeing. Presentations from health experts, cooking demonstrations, exercise and a healthy lunch were key features of the program held at the church in Taita, Lower Hutt. 

Attendees responded positively to the program and many are working hard to be named the winner in a “biggest loser” competition.

Type 2 diabetes and obesity were among the topics discussed. One of the presentations showed how much fat is in takeaway food compared to a healthy meal cooked at home. 

Attendees responded positively to the program and many are working hard to be named the winner in a “biggest loser” competition. Aerobics classes are held at the church hall every Tuesday night and Sunday morning and are open to the community.

Imeleta Alosio, Bachelor of Nursing student at Whitireia Polytechnic, gave a presentation on obesity.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is well known for its health principles but we need to promote better access to health issues and services at a local level,” said Atapana Lio, who heads the church’s health department.

According to Ministry of Health Statistics, Pacific adults have the highest rates of obesity in New Zealand.

Lavea’i Trust Inc. project manager Naomi Saluni Tavau said she was happy to sponsor the initiative because it contributes to the trust’s mission of providing hope and motivation to help families live healthier lives.