Public Health Expert

A 100 years ago: The worst year of the First World War for New Zealand

Public Health Expert May 01, 2017

Professor Nick Wilson, University of Otago; Professor Glyn Harper, Massey University The year 1917 was the worst year of the First World War for New Zealand from a premature mortality perspective, with 5547 deaths. We have just presented on this topic at a Symposium at Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and in this blog we summarise … Read More

Will liberalising nicotine availability increase quitting?

Public Health Expert Apr 24, 2017

Prof Janet Hoek, Mei-Ling Blank, Prof Nick Wilson, Lindsay Robertson, Dr Louise Marsh Do the New Zealand (NZ) Government’s proposed changes to liberalise the e-cigarette market set out a robust process for helping people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes? In this blog, we discuss the proposed regulatory changes and explain some of the complex practices smokers must adopt … Read More

Is it time to pilot a test and treat programme for reducing the stomach cancer burden and inequalities in NZ?

Public Health Expert Apr 18, 2017

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Melissa McLeod, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson  We have just published a modelling study on stomach cancer prevention in the international journal BMC Infectious Diseases (1). This blog briefly examines how a possible population screening programme, that tests and treats for infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, may be a cost-effective way to … Read More

What does art have to do with public health, and how can they work together?

Public Health Expert Apr 12, 2017

Jenny Ombler, Dr Sarah Donovan (University of Otago, Wellington) Last month was the first time that the Public Health Summer School (University of Otago, Wellington) has considered art, and its relationship to public health. The Symposium featured artists, arts academics, an architect, and public health practitioners and academics. In this blog we consider some of the issues raised … Read More

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

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