Project aims and design
The overall objective of the NutriSales project is to measure trends in New Zealand population exposure to sodium, saturated fat, and sugar in the processed food supply using food composition information from the Nutritrack database, and food sales data from the Nielsen Homescan® panel.
This project will comprise three types of analyses:
- National monitoring of the nutritional composition of the New Zealand food supply over time;
- Global comparisons of the nutrient content of New Zealand packaged foods with that of other countries globally; and
- Assessment of food availability and purchase data as a proxy measure of food and nutrient consumption.
All analyses will use New Zealand food composition data from the Nutritrack database, a brand-specific food composition database complied from annual systematic surveys of packaged foods on sale at major New Zealand supermarkets. Sales-weighted analyses will be enabled through integration of Nutritrack data with annual sales data from the Nielsen Homescan® panel, a national, geographically representative market research panel of New Zealanders who scan all foods and beverages bought into the home. Global comparisons of the nutrient content of processed foods will be undertaken using data collected by members of the Global Food Monitoring group.
Specific objectives are to:
- Assess crude and sales-weighted sodium, saturated fat, and sugar contents of New Zealand processed foods, including baseline measures (2012), 3 year trends (2012 to 2015), and 6 year trends (2012 to 2017). Important opportunities for reformulation of New Zealand processed foods likely to result in the greatest population health benefits will also be identified.
- Compare the sodium, saturated fat, and sugar contents of New Zealand packaged foods with Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Fiji, and India. The proportion of products in each country meeting relevant international nutrient guidelines will also be explored.
- Compare the overall healthiness of New Zealand processed foods with Australia, over time (2012 to 2016).
- Assess the percentage of the New Zealand food supply covered by the Nutritrack database.
- Validate NutriSales as an approximation of household nutrient intakes.
Findings will be used to model potential long-term health impacts of promising reformulation strategies including burden of disease (disability adjusted life years - or DALYs, and mortality) and cost-effectiveness.
NutriSales is a five-year project that runs from 2013 to 2018.
NutriSales is led by Dr Helen Eyles at the National Institute for Health Innovation.