Fuseworks Media

$82 million health programme set to help address NZ’s obesity epidemic

The nationwide launch of a multi-million dollar health programme is set to help address growing rates of obesity throughout New Zealand.

According to latest data from the Ministry of Health, New Zealand has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD, and our rates continue to increase. One in three (33%) adult Kiwis are classified as obese, up from 29% a decade ago.

The programme, ‘28 by Sam Wood’, was started by celebrity personal trainer Sam Wood, former star of The Bachelor Australia and has grown to be the largest of its kind – used by almost a million Australians to date.

Its rapid growth has seen the platform recently merged with a health technology company in an $82 million deal.

New Zealand will be the first international market for the technology with plans to expand into the United States, Canada and Europe.

Wood, who is also a best-selling author and has over 1.1 million followers on his social platforms, is in New Zealand to recruit some of the country’s top trainers and nutritionists as content creators for a global audience.

He says a combination of DNA profiling, artificial intelligence (AI), app gamification and wearable tech is set to offer a new methodology to help fight the obesity epidemic and associated co-morbidities such as diabetes and heart disease.

Wood says the current model was developed following research from more than 50,000 personal training sessions over 15 years with his clients, which showed that outcomes were greater when support infrastructure was provided outside the gym.

“What I realised was that during the sessions they could remain motivated but there was no adherence once they went home. So we designed the current programme to focus on their fitness from a mental health and mindset perspective as well as guidance on nutrition, provision of recipes, workouts and goal setting.

“In the future, the customised nature of the platform is set to be integrated with DNA insights creating highly personalised workout and nutrition programmes for users.

“New Zealand’s quite similar to Australia in that we sort of pat ourselves on the back a bit and promote life down under as outdoorsy, rugged and healthy. We tend to look at the UK and the US, saying ‘You guys, you’ve got some work to do’ but the statistics are clearly showing we are pretty much just as bad.

“I think we need to acknowledge where we sit with obesity on a global scale as those statistics are really scary. So it’s time we gave ourselves a bit of tough love and stopped living in denial,” he says.

Wood says the programme is affordable and convenient for those wanting to make a lasting change starting at 50 cents a day to increase its accessibility.

 

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