Food Stuff

Can diet improve our mental health?

Amanda Johnson Dec 09, 2011

Depression is fast becoming one of the most common chronic conditions in Western countries, and it’s been predicted that its incidence is likely to continue to rise. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that by the year 2020, in developed regions depression will become the highest-ranking cause of burden of disease. According to the WHO: ’Mental and … Read More

Too much of a good thing?

Amanda Johnson Oct 18, 2011

The debate about vitamin and mineral supplements was sparked again last week following the publication of two studies suggesting that vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased mortality risk. The Iowa Women’s Health study, just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, assessed the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to total mortality in … Read More

Should New Zealand have a fat tax?

Amanda Johnson Oct 04, 2011

This week it was reported in the media that Denmark has become the first country in the world to introduce a fat tax on food, with a surcharge on foods high in saturated fat of 16 kroner ($NZ3.80) per kg of saturated fats in a product. According to Radio New Zealand, Health Minister Tony Ryall has … Read More

The salt debate continues

Amanda Johnson Aug 02, 2011

A new comment just published in The Lancet resurrects the salt debate yet again, following the publication of the controversial Cochrane report on salt last month (6 July). The plain language summary of the Cochrane report stated, ’Cutting down on the amount of salt has no clear benefits in terms of likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease.’ … Read More

Diabetes back in the headlines

Amanda Johnson Jun 27, 2011

New research published in The Lancet this weekend (25 June) highlighted recent global trends in diabetes prevalence, and the results of this study have hit newspaper headlines in New Zealand across the board today. The scary results of this study showed that, globally, diabetes has more than doubled between 1980 and 2008, with the number of adults with … Read More

Should coke be cheaper than milk?

Amanda Johnson Apr 12, 2011

’When coke is cheaper than milk it is a national disgrace,’ said Darryl Evans, from the Mangere  Budgeting Services Trust, on Campbell Live last week. The Campbell Live feature looked at the thorny issue of the affordability of healthy food in New Zealand. As well as John Campbell’s interview with Darrryl Evans, reporter Tristram Clayton … Read More

The influence of marketing on kids’ food preferences

Amanda Johnson Mar 29, 2011

What influences our kids’ food preferences? One factor is certainly the way foods are marketed to kids, and what sort of branding appears on the packaging. A paper published earlier this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent medicine investigates whether licensed media spokescharacters on cereal packaging affects young children’s taste assessment of the products. The study … Read More