Health and Medicine

New Standardised Packaging Regulations: Some good steps, but many missed opportunities - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jun 28, 2017

Professor Janet Hoek and Professor Philip Gendall The NZ Government’s recently released Standardised Packaging Regulations contain some important advances over Australia’s legislation, but they also miss opportunities to recognise tobacco industry innovations. This blog discusses changes that establish a new benchmark and why these are important, but also examines how the regulations could have gone further and suggests … Read More

Body mass and evolution: why the BMI is a limited measure of public health - Guest Work

Guest Work Jun 28, 2017

By Andrew Dickson, Massey University Charles Darwin died in 1882 at the age of 73, likely of a heart attack. At the time, the average life span in England was about 44 years. Darwin, by any stretch of the imagination, was a long-lived man, despite suffering some significant health issues throughout his life. Mapped to New Zealand in … Read More

Inside the asylum: food safety edition - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 26, 2017

Versions of cost-benefit that tally up all of the savings to a public health system from banning people doing things they like, and ignore the costs incurred by people banned from doing things they like, lead to this: We reveal today that new Ministry of Primary Industry guidelines for food outlets require your hamburger to be cooked to fried … Read More

Can pandemic threats justify border closure for island nations like NZ? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jun 26, 2017

Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Osman Mansoor, Professor Michael G Baker Countries prepare for future pandemic risks because of pandemic influenza, novel emerging infectious agents and possible synthetic bioweapons. In a study we just published in a journal, we explored the costs and benefits of complete border closure in NZ in response to new pandemic threats. We found … Read More

Fluoridation: Open letter to Democrats for Social Credit - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jun 15, 2017

 The only political party in New Zealand campaigning against community water fluoridation is the Democrats for Social Credit. It is a minor party, not represented in Parliament and of little influence. However, it does have connections with Fluoride Free NZ, the main anti-fluoride activist group, and its members have imposed anti-fluoridation policies on some groups they belong to. Two examples … Read More

Plain packaging – new regulations - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 15, 2017

The New Zealand government finally got around to telling the tobacco companies what the rules will be under plain packaging. Plain packaging won’t be in effect for a while yet, but it takes a while to adjust production lines – it’s good that they finally got the rules out.  Fairfax’s Rob Stock called me asking for comment on plain … Read More

Curiouser and Curiouser: The mysterious incidence of testicular cancer in Māori - Unsorted

Lynley Hargreaves Jun 15, 2017

Originally posted on Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Past and Future series where, as part of 150th anniversary celebrations, early career researchers are invited to share discoveries in their fields from days gone by or give us a glimpse into where their research may take us in the future. By Jason Gurney, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, … Read More

Open data, transparency and power – role of the Virtual Health Information Network - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jun 14, 2017

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Barry Milne, Mr Philip Walker, Prof Tony Blakely The NZ Government is showing strong leadership on data sharing. In this blog we describe some of the opportunities and the challenges in this new data environment. We focus on how the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) can contribute to stronger health research and therefore benefit the health … Read More

When do we stop vaccinating against an infectious disease? - Guest Work

Guest Work Jun 13, 2017

By Rebecca Chisholm, University of Melbourne and Nicholas Geard, University of Melbourne Australia was declared measles-free in 2014. However, the recent importation of a case of measles into Australia from Indonesia illustrates the threat this disease still poses to Australians. It also underscores the importance of maintaining high vaccination rates against rare diseases to … Read More

Fluoridation: What’s happening with the New Zealand legislation? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jun 12, 2017

The second reading of the fluoridation bill is now on the order paper for the current parliament. Public submissions have been heard, the Health Committee has reported back to the House and the Ministry of Health (MoH) has provided its own responses to submissions. Of course, we don’t know yet what the final Act will be like exactly. Read More