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:
- Determine the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a dietary salt reduction intervention in adults with high blood pressure
- Co-design and test commercially sustainable supermarket intervention(s) to promote healthy eating
- Measure the impact of front-of-pack nutrition labels (Health Star Rating- HSR) on population diets
- 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.