Public Health Expert

Progress on reducing retail availability of sugary drinks in NZ

Public Health Expert May 16, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Rob Beaglehole, Prof Tony Blakely New Zealand has made some progress in removing the sale of sugary drinks from hospitals and schools. In this blog we look at such successes to date and consider what could be done to further reduce availability of these products which are both harming oral … Read More

Unethical junk food marketing: Upgrading the advertising codes

Public Health Expert Apr 28, 2016

by Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, Alanna Soupen, University of Auckland Kiwis want tougher restrictions on junk food marketing to children. A Horizon Research poll conducted last year found 41% of Kiwi’s were strongly in favour of greater restrictions to reduce the advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks to children, and 32% “somewhat” in favour. About 6000 “ActionStation” members called … Read More

(Un)licensed to kill: do we need to regulate how tobacco is sold?

Public Health Expert Apr 21, 2016

By Lindsay Robertson, Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards and Louise Marsh* Two recent articles by Aspire2025 researchers have explored how tobacco sales in New Zealand could be more effectively regulated. The first examines licensing models that have been implemented overseas, while the second explores how provisions from the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 could inform tobacco supply policies (both published in the … Read More

Who is responsible for stopping NZ’s obesity epidemic?

Public Health Expert Apr 18, 2016

Dr Robyn Toomath Editorial note: In this blog-perspective, obesity expert Dr Robyn Toomath outlines the dogmas and arguments for the ‘individual-responsibility’ explanation and (lack of) solution to the obesity epidemic. She then points to the market failures that render (non-regulated) free-market solutions as doomed to fail. The views in this blog are expanded in greater depth in a book Dr … Read More

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An open letter to Cabinet Ministers from 74 health professors calling for a sugary drinks tax

Public Health Expert Apr 02, 2016

An open letter to Cabinet Ministers from 74 health professors calling for a sugary drinks tax In this Public Health Expert blog, we reproduce a letter that appeared in the NZ Herald on 2 April.  Boyd Swinburn, Rod Jackson, and Cliona Ni Mhurchu led the writing.    Dear Cabinet Ministers We are very concerned by New Zealand’s appallingly high rate … Read More

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Engaging online simulator of measles outbreaks (& how NZ needs to do better in eliminating measles)

Public Health Expert Mar 30, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Osman Mansoor, Prof Michael Baker To help explain the concept of ‘herd immunity’, The Guardian Newspaper has produced a clever online simulator of measles spread. We comment on why this simulator is informative and how it also demonstrates chance effects in the spread of infectious diseases. Then we take the opportunity to explain why NZ should … Read More

The UK Government Shows Leadership with a Soft Drink Tax Announcement

Public Health Expert Mar 22, 2016

Dr Wilma Waterlander, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea McDonald, Dr Helen Eyles, Prof Tony Blakely A Conservative UK Government has announced a new soft drink tax with revenue recycling towards school-based physical activity programmes. In this blog, we briefly look at the UK initiative and assess its possible utility for changing New Zealand’s … Read More

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NZ’s Smart Use of Big Data: Employment & Income Impacts of Selected Health Conditions

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2016

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr George Disney, Prof Tony Blakely New Zealand is making rapid strides in the smart use of big data to provide better health information for decision-makers. Here we look at a recent output: a Treasury Working Paper that considers the employment and income effects of eight health conditions. Such information could ultimately inform the best use … Read More

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New Zealand Can Lead the World in Tobacco Control: Plain Packaging 2.0

Public Health Expert Mar 10, 2016

Janet Hoek, Co-Director, ASPIRE2025 and Professor of Marketing and Philip Gendall, ASPIRE2025 and Emeritus Professor of Marketing The Prime Minister’s decision to progress plain packaging legislation “sooner rather than later” is an important step towards our smokefree 2025 goal. There are four key areas for improving on Australia’s legislation to maximise the effectiveness of plain packaging: preventing the proliferation of brand … Read More

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