Public Health Expert

The case for lowering salt levels in processed foods is now even stronger – new research

Public Health Expert Jun 26, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Prof Tony Blakely The scientific case for lowering dietary salt intakes became a bit confused in recent years by studies which suggested that both low sodium (salt) intake and high sodium intake were associated with higher risk of death. But new research suggests that low sodium intakes are not associated with … Read More

Capitalising on NZ’s linked data by increasing IT and researcher capacity: Opportunity is knocking

Public Health Expert Jun 19, 2018

Tony Blakely, Andrea Teng, Sheree Gibb, Nhung Nghiem, Barry Milne, Andrew Sporle, Gabrielle Davies, Nevil Pierce, Ruth Cunningham, and on behalf of the Virtual Health Information Network A key strategic advantage for NZ and research is our national routinely-collected datasets.  This can generate new knowledge in academia, service delivery and policy.  Conversely, NZ has some key barriers to … Read More

How much of Māori:European mortality inequalities are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco?

Public Health Expert Jun 15, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson Policy-makers need to know how much of ethnic inequalities in health are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco smoking, but quantifying this is surprisingly difficult. In this Blog, and accompanying video, we summarize new research using NZ’s linked census-mortality data, blended with innovative new ‘counterfactual’ methods to determine causal relationships … Read More

Smoke, heat or vapour? Ideas for risk-proportionate regulation to make World Smokefree Day irrelevant by 2025

Public Health Expert May 31, 2018

Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa, Janet Hoek, Louise Thornley, Nick Wilson. ASPIRE 2025, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington World Smokefree Day is an apt day on which to propose some ideas that may greatly increase momentum for the achieving Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. Tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes vary greatly in their likely adverse health effects … Read More

A public health perspective on taxing harmful products

Public Health Expert Apr 17, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn The New Zealand Government has set up a Tax Working Group to consider reforms of the tax system. In this blog we briefly discuss some of the opportunities for tax reform that will potentially improve health and lower … Read More

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And now the Brits are doing it: A sugary drink tax levy on the industry

Public Health Expert Apr 03, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn From 1 April 2018, the UK is putting in place a type of sugary drinks tax – actually a “soft drinks industry levy”. This blog reviews how they are doing it, early signs of its success, and ponders its relevance for NZ.  We also take this opportunity to … Read More

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A century of health inequalities in NZ – new data

Public Health Expert Mar 26, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Tony Blakely Everyone knows that socio-economic inequalities in health exist – in recent times. But one thing we do not know is whether they have always been there. We have just published a study that looks at two historical datasets – with one of these suggesting life span differences by … Read More

Dietary counselling – how effective and cost-effective is it?

Public Health Expert Mar 20, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Prof Tony Blakely In this blog we consider recent literature (particularly reviews) on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of dietary counselling as a health intervention. Most studies suggest that dietary counselling is effective though the benefits are typically modest and short-term. The literature on cost-effectiveness … Read More

Standardised packaging: A new era in reducing tobacco marketing in NZ

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2018

Janet Hoek, Philip Gendall, Richard Edwards, Shayne Nahu, Nick Wilson From today, all tobacco products in New Zealand will start appearing in standardised, or plain, packages. In this blog, we discuss the importance of developing an on-going monitoring and evaluation plan around this intervention. We also explain why communications with smokers – whether on-pack or mass media – must be … Read More

Can we manage dual use of smoking and vaping more effectively?

Public Health Expert Feb 16, 2018

Professor Janet Hoek, Dr Lindsay Robertson, Ms Mei-Ling Blank, Dr Rosalina Richards Although most smokers want to quit, many of those who begin vaping continue to smoke. We recently probed this perplexing ambiguity and explored dual use of cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) [1]. In this blog, we summarise our findings and consider interventions that could encourage … Read More