Grant Schofield is Professor of Public Health and Director of the Human Potential Centre at AUT. His research and teaching interests are broadly based in public health, especially the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. The way lifestyle can be used either as “medicine” or to prevent these problems in the first place has been the focus of his research career.
He takes a wide approach as it has become obvious that treating lifestyle behaviours in isolation wasn’t providing effective solutions. Grant states, we needed a complete reorientation in two areas. The first is the movement away from discourses about disease to discourses about wellbeing. He terms this “positive health” and his work in this area paves a more useful framework for promoting the sorts of behaviours which do, in the end, prevent and treat chronic disease. They do this in a way that may be more engaging and drive investment in health as a goal, rather than the prevention and treatment of sickness. This approach draws heavily upon the work in positive psychology.
The second, is the more controversial work Prof Schofield has led in challenging the evidence behind our public health nutrition and physical activity guidelines. He has developed expertise in alternative approaches; especially carbohydrate restriction.