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We provide professional development for health practitioners, covering early life science, the impact it has on the epidemic of lifestyle disease, and how to affect change for the better.  

A pregnant woman

Pregnancy a powerful time 

Pre-conception, pregnancy and the early years are key periods in which healthy lifestyle choices can positively influence a mother and child's life-long health. 

Good nutrition and physical activity can help to reduce the risk of both the mother and child developing diseases later in life such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers 

The great news is that healthy eating and activity choices can be simple, affordable, and achievable for all cultures and family situations. 

It's becoming more and more important for maternity and child health professionals to include discussions about healthy lifestyles in their work with mothers, infants, families and whanau. 


Find out what this means for you

Pregnant woman on kitchen

Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?

Practising healthy lifestyle habits and behaviour is critcal to life-long health.

In NZ we've seen dramatic rises in the last decade, in the number of people diagnosed with lifestyle related diseases. 

  • The number of NZ's with diabetes has doubled in the past 10 years
  • More than 170,000 NZ's living with heart disease in 2017
  • 30% of NZ's are obese, increasing from 10% in 1977

We know that just giving information alone does not make people change, so what is it that helps encourage people to actually make healthy lifestyle choices? 

Interventions around lifestyle behaviour change are often influenced by six commonly held beliefs that are actually myths! 

These myths have made the business of health-related behaviour change more difficult than it needs to be.

Healthy Start Workforce Project Registration Heading

The Healthy Start Workforce Project offers two free workforce development programmes:

  • Our online education programme explores the science which shows how good nutrition and physical activity during early life can reduce health risks in adulthood.  
  • Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop provides tools to enable health practitioners to better support clients to make lasting behaviour changes, especially in the area of nutrition and physical activity. 

    Our programmes qualify for professional development hours for midwives, nurses, GPs and exercise professionals.
Register for our programmes
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