Public Health Expert

Professor Tony Blakely is an epidemiologist at the University of Otago, Wellington. He has an extensive portfolio of research. Tony initiated and implemented the New Zealand Census-Mortality Study (NZCMS) in the late 1990s, a pioneering study linking the national censuses with mortality data to allow monitoring and research on ethnic and socio-economic inequalities and the contribution of smoking to mortality (the NZ census periodically includes smoking). He has also led the parallel study, CancerTrends, that links census and cancer registration data to allow cancer incidence and survival studies.

Soft drink taxes and public health: Lessons from the Pacific & Mexico - Public Health Expert

Aug 18, 2015

Dr Andrea McDonald There are many ways that taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) can be designed and implemented. These aspects can affect the likely impact on SSB consumption and health. This blog looks at a policy discussion document from the Pacific and explores some of the reasons SSB tax outcomes from Mexico appear to show positive reductions in SSB consumption. SSBs are defined as any beverage that contains added caloric sweetener usually sugar. The main categories of sugary drinks include soft-drinks/fizzy-drinks, sachet mixes, fruit drinks, cordials, flavoured milks, cold teas/ coffees, and energy/sports drinks (New Zealand Beverage Guidance Panel, 2014). Pacific findings The Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) account for many of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community policy discussion document published early in August 2015 (McDonald, 2015), … Read More

Thoughts on NZ Adopting an Aussie Community Health Programme … and Forthcoming Nutrition Policy Events - Public Health Expert

Feb 04, 2014

Professor Tony Blakely and Associate Professor Nick Wilson Late last year Health Minister Tony Ryall visited Victoria, Australia, to examine their “Healthy Together Victoria” programme. This week, the Prime Minister announced that NZ will adopt this programme, and it will … Continue reading

Food taxes and subsidies will probably protect health & reduce inequalities – but the devil is in the detail - Public Health Expert

Oct 09, 2013

Professors Tony Blakely, Cliona Ni Mhurchu and Nick Wilson Research teams we lead have published two papers in the last few weeks on food taxes and subsidies – both of which depend on what are called price elasticities.  Timely, in … Continue reading