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

Monday, March 19th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

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 is mixed, and there is substantial uncertainty about long-run cost-effectiveness given the typically short-term trials involved. Addressing the obesogenic environment will have potentially (much) larger gains, and due to substantial reductions in obesity-related disease it is likely to be cost-saving. However, governments, policy-makers and the public are often interested in counselling interventions, necessitating close attention to cost-effectiveness of these interventions relative to more structural changes to the environment.

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

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 salient and timely to have strong and continuing impact on supporting quitting. Achieving all these actions should help to accelerate progress towards the NZ Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal.

Continue reading

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

Friday, February 16th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

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 smokers to transition completely to vaping.

Continue reading

Preventing falls can be very cost-effective in NZ – New study

Monday, February 5th, 2018 | dayhi34p | 1 Comment

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Dr Linda Cobiac, Prof Tony Blakely

We have just published a modelling study on exercise programmes in NZ to prevent falls in older people. This work suggests that this approach (home-based or group-based exercise) is good value for money for the NZ Government. In this blog we consider these results alongside other fall prevention interventions that policy-makers can consider – which are now all in the BODE3 online interactive league table.

Continue reading

What public health lessons can NZ still learn from the United States?

Monday, January 29th, 2018 | dayhi34p | 1 Comment

Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson

The United States has many major health problems – including declining life expectancy and an exorbitantly expensive health care system. However, the large number of state and local governments provide a wealth of potential lessons that NZ could learn from. In this blog we briefly consider some of these, particularly in the domains of support for nutrition and physical activity, tobacco and alcohol control, and pollution control.

Continue reading


Any views or opinion represented in this site belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Otago. Any view or opinion represented in the comments are personal and are those of the respective commentator/contributor to this site.