Public Health Expert

BMI keeps on going up – and reflections on the Diabesity Symposium

Public Health Expert Mar 24, 2017

Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Kirsten Coppell, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng Is body mass index (BMI) relentlessly increasing in NZ, or plateauing? In this blog we present trends in BMI by ethnicity in NZ going back to the 1980s. Over the last four decades the annual increase in BMI is linear, relentless increasing; no sign of a plateau, yet. Read More

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Why do so many fear the bicycle?

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2017

By Prof Alistair Woodward, Auckland University “It is too dangerous.” This is the reason given most commonly for not riding a bike on the road in New Zealand. In this blog, I summarise a paper we have just published quantifying the risk of cycling injury. We found it to be low compared to other activites that New Zealanders commonly engage … Read More

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The marked decline of sudden mass fatality events in NZ (1900 to 2015)

Public Health Expert Mar 01, 2017

By Professor Nick Wilson and Associate Professor George Thomson Our recently published study on sudden mass fatality events in NZ (10+ deaths per event) found that the occurrence and mortality burden of these events has declined over time. In this blog we consider possible reasons for this trend and make suggestions for improving the knowledge base around these events.  … Read More

Analysis of a new NZ Treasury Report on soft drink tax

Public Health Expert Feb 28, 2017

By Professors Tony Blakely, Nick Wilson, Boyd Swinburn and Cliona Ni Mhurchu The Government has an action plan to tackle childhood obesity, but it lacks a tax on sugary drinks – a strategy for which there is good evidence.  A new Treasury Report on soft drink tax price elasticities has just emerged. It has the look of a strategically published … Read More

Front-of-pack nutrition labels improve understanding but not healthy food choices

Public Health Expert Feb 03, 2017

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu The three labels study participants were randomised to: traffic light labels, health star rating and nutrition information. Health Star Rating and Traffic Light nutrition labels have a minor impact on New Zealand consumer healthy food choices, according to the Starlight trial –  a randomised trial just published from our HRC-funded DIET Programme … Read More

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Improving New Zealand’s preparations for the next pandemic

Public Health Expert Feb 01, 2017

By Dr Julia Scott, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker.  In a globalised world an infectious disease outbreak anywhere is a potential threat to New Zealand. Recent such threats have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic influenza (2009), Ebola and Zika. In the context of an upcoming University of Otago, Wellington Public Health Summer School symposium on … Read More

The Brits are doing it: likely health benefits from a levy on soft drinks

Public Health Expert Dec 16, 2016

By Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Linda Cobiac A study published today finds that the UK soft drink levy being introduced in 2017 is likely to benefit health (reduced obesity, diabetes and dental caries) – when considering a range of different Drinks Industry responses. In this Blog we comment on these results and the … Read More

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Casting a long shadow: Infection drives stomach cancer inequalities in Māori and Pacific peoples

Public Health Expert Nov 28, 2016

By Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Diana Sarfati In this Blog we discuss our recently published study that shows that infection from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is the major driver of stomach cancer inequalities borne by Māori and Pacific peoples in NZ. We also discuss a possible next step which could be for one DHB … Read More

Health benefits from eradicating rats, stoats and possums

Public Health Expert Nov 07, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Mary McIntyre, Dr Osman D Mansoor, Dr Paul Blaschke, Prof Michael Baker The eradication of some introduced pests such as rats, stoats and possums in New Zealand, seems increasingly feasible with a new national 2050 goal and action at the city level eg, Wellington. The primary benefits will be to native birds and enhanced biodiversity, … Read More

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Why are some preventable cancer deaths in Māori and Pacific peoples increasing?

Public Health Expert Oct 31, 2016

Dr Andrea Teng, June Atkinson, Dr George Disney, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Diana Sarfati, Dr Melissa McLeod, Prof Tony Blakely Work we just published shows some adverse trends in cancer deaths by ethnic group, as well as some favourable trends. In this blog we discuss some of the key findings of this research and what the options are for NZ … Read More

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