LEVIN FAMILY HEALTH - Open 1st August 2023


Gary says... Christmas is a time where we think "It's Okay" to Indulge... OR "Is It"

Eating Behaviours Over the Christmas Period in New Zealand: A Comparison Between Māori/Pacifica and Non-Māori/Pacifica

 The Christmas period in New Zealand is a time of celebration, family gatherings, and indulgence in festive foods. Eating behaviours during this season can significantly impact one's overall health. Levin Family Health explores differences and similarities in eating behaviours between Māori/Pacifica and non-Māori/Pacifica populations during the Christmas season in New Zealand, considering cultural influences and health considerations is a basis behind this article.

 Cultural Influences:

                  a. Māori/Pacifica Traditions:

                         For Māori/Pacifica, Christmas is a time to celebrate both traditional and                                   modern customs. Traditional foods like hangi (earth-cooked meals) are often                           prepared for large gatherings.

                         Cultural dishes, such as kumara (sweet potatoes) and seafood, hold a special                           place during Māori/Pacifica Christmas feasts.

                 b. Non-Māori/Pacifica Traditions:

                        Non-Māori/Pacifica New Zealanders often embrace a mix of European and                              Pacific Island traditions during Christmas.

                        Roast meats, pavlova, and ham are popular components of non-                                                  Māori/Pacifica Christmas dinners.

 Dietary Choices:

                a. Māori/Pacifica:

                       While Māori/Pacifica may continue to enjoy traditional foods, there is                                       increasing awareness of the importance of incorporating healthier options.

                       Efforts are made to balance the indulgence with more nutritious choices like                           salads and lean proteins.

                b. Non-Māori/Pacifica:

                        Non-Māori/Pacifica New Zealanders may also indulge in festive treats but are                          influenced by Western dietary trends.

                        Health-conscious choices, such as vegetarian and gluten-free options, have                              become more common during Christmas.

 Health Considerations:

                 a. Māori/Pacifica:

                        Māori/Pacifica populations in New Zealand have historically faced higher                                  rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

                        During Christmas, the challenge is to strike a balance between cultural                                      traditions and healthy eating practices.

                  b. Non-Māori/Pacifica:

                       Non-Māori/Pacifica populations exhibit a range of dietary preferences and                               health behaviours.

                       The focus is on maintaining moderation and not overindulging during the                                 festive season.

Public Health Initiatives:

                 a. Government and non-profit organizations in New Zealand have implemented                           public health campaigns to promote healthy eating and physical activity during                       the Christmas season.

                 b. Initiatives may include education about portion control, balanced meals, and                            the importance of staying active.

Eating behaviours during the Christmas period in New Zealand vary among Māori/Pacifica, and non-Māori/Pacifica populations, influenced by cultural traditions and health considerations.

It is essential for both groups to make informed dietary choices, balancing cultural significance with overall health and well-being.

Public health initiatives play a crucial role in promoting healthier eating habits during this festive time for all New Zealanders.

In summary, while cultural influences shape eating behaviours during the Christmas period, Māori/Pacifica and non-Māori/Pacifica populations in New Zealand share common goals of celebrating the season while making healthier dietary choices to improve overall health and well-being. Public health campaigns and education are vital in promoting balanced eating during this time of festivities.

Levin Family Health wants everybody to enjoy their festive season with food, but we would ask to reconsider moments where frivolity and over-exaggeration to food choices becomes an issue for your health and well-being.

Christmas is only around the corner so make good plans and decisions around food, with whanau and close friends, that you will feel happy with in the New Year.