Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, Professor Boyd Swinburn
A panel of 71 independent and government experts have undertaken an evaluation of New Zealand Government food environment policies, compared to international best practice. This is the second such evaluation, the first being in 2014. In this blog we summarise the findings. There are some areas where New Zealand is at the level of best practice and there are some areas where there is progress compared to 2014. However, there remain major implementation gaps, especially for policies to improve the healthiness of food environments, to catch up with other nations globally in tackling the child obesity crisis.
Dr Melissa McLeod and Professor Tony Blakely
In this blog we will discuss a paper recently published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention  by the BODE3 team, which modelled a nationwide colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programme for New Zealand. We used multiple data sources, ranging from the results of the New Zealand pilot screening programme through Waitemata DHB, New Zealand cost and epidemiological data on colorectal cancer, and outputs of screening trials internationally. Similar to modelling from other countries, we found that a national CRC screening programme is highly likely to be cost-effective, and will offer health gains to all screened population groups. However, because Māori in New Zealand are less likely to get CRC, and because screening programmes have been less successful in engaging with Māori, the health gains for the Māori population in New Zealand will be lower, meaning that this screening programme will increase inequalities in overall health for Māori compared to the rest of the population.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amber Pearson, Amanda Rzotkiewicz, A/Prof George Thomson
Looking at Google Street View can be amusing – as with the image of a cow with its face blurred out by Google’s algorithm for anonymising humans (see here). But this tool can help with research – as we report in a just published review in the journal “Tobacco Control”. In this blog we briefly consider some of the research possibilities of this tool of relevance to public health.
Professors Tony Blakely and Cliona Ni Mhurchu
Last week a FIZZ symposium was run in Auckland. A key focus was moving New Zealand towards adopting a sugary drink tax. As part of the policy briefing prepared for this FIZZ Symposium, we were asked to estimate the revenue from such a tax – which we outline here, and estimate to be between $65 and $100 million a year. We also consider implementation options.