DIET: Helping to improve nutrition and health in New Zealand

Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health. Dietary risk factors (e.g. high salt intake, raw wholegrain intake and low fruit and vegetable consumption) and obesity rates are higher amongst Māori and Pasifika and key drivers of health inequalities. However, small improvements in diet across the whole population could produce major health gains and cost savings, and reduce inequalities.

The DIET programme will evaluate the effects of four priority action areas to improve diets. The objectives are to:

  1. Determine the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a dietary salt reduction intervention in adults with high blood pressure
  2. Co-design and test commercially sustainable supermarket intervention(s) to promote healthy eating
  3. Measure the impact of front-of-pack nutrition labels (Health Star Rating- HSR) on population diets
  4. Assess the effects of a theory-driven campaign to promote improvements to the nutritional composition of processed foods

This new research extends our previous work, with a particular emphasis on practical interventions and translating findings into policy and action. The programme is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.


Find out more about our exciting projects

SALTS - Salt ALTernatives Study
Co-designing and testing retail interventions
Health Star Rating Evaluation

Latest News

Interview featuring Dr Sally Mackay on 1news highlighting the study on cost and nutrition of plant-based meat alternatives.

You can check out the interview here and find out more about the study here.

Interviews featuring Dr Leanne Young on Newshub highlights how meat alternatives stuck up against the traditional meats.

You can check out the interview on Newhub here and on Radio NZ here.

Check out Dr. Leanne Young's interview on the topic of plant-based meat and its impact on health here. Additionally, you can find Dr. Sally Mackay's interview discussing the same subject here.

A media piece featured on Newsroom highlighting the product promotional strategies in supermarkets and their effects on sales: A case study of breakfast cereals and drinks in New Zealand paper. Read the article here.