Would a sugary fizzy drink tax reduce health inequalities? Probably Yes

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

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Professor Tony Blakely

A possible tax on sweetened sugary beverages (SSBs, and in particular sugary carbonated soft drinks) is topical internationally. This blog considers some economic theory around prices and demand, epidemiological predictions, and then a recent Australian study on the topic. The bottom line is that such a tax would probably be good for health of all groups in NZ, but particularly the poorest New Zealanders. Such a reduction in health inequalities is an added advantage in a country where health inequalities remain an important problem.

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Minimum pricing of alcohol: what does the evidence say?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 7 Comments

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Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Jennie Connor, Associate Professor Nick Wilson

As a strategy to reduce harm from alcohol, there is growing interest internationally around the setting of minimum prices on alcohol. In this blog we review a paper just published in the Lancet on this approach. We also consider the potential implications for New Zealand around combining minimum pricing with increases in alcohol excise tax.

Professor Jennie Connor, University of Otago, researches the public health impacts of alcohol policy in NZ

Professor Jennie Connor, University of Otago, researches the public health impacts of alcohol policy in NZ

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Thoughts on NZ Adopting an Aussie Community Health Programme … and Forthcoming Nutrition Policy Events

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 | TONY BLAKELY | 2 Comments

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Professor Tony Blakely and Associate Professor Nick Wilson

Late last year Health Minister Tony Ryall visited Victoria, Australia, to examine their “Healthy Together Victoria” programme. This week, the Prime Minister announced that NZ will adopt this programme, and it will be known as “Healthy Families New Zealand”. This blog post gives a high level overview of this initiative and anticipates a series of four forthcoming blog posts here at Public Health Expert.

The Australian programme has healthy nutrition as a large focus, but it also extends to include alcohol, physical activity and smoking. Actually, large chunks of it sound like the old Health Eating – Healthy Action programme.

“The Healthy Together Victoria” programme looks a bit like old “Healthy Eating – Healthy Action” programme in New Zealand.

“The Healthy Together Victoria” programme looks a bit like old “Healthy Eating – Healthy Action” programme in New Zealand.

HEHA

 

 

 

 

 

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Physical activity or nutrition interventions: which can improve population health the most and save the most health dollars?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

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Professor Tony Blakely and Associate Professor Nick Wilson

We gave a presentation to Members of Parliament last week on taxes and subsidies on food, the pros and cons (slides here). In this blogpost we go into some extra detail on how such nutritional interventions compare to physical activity ones – in terms of health gain and potential for cost savings to the health system. Continue reading

Food taxes and subsidies will probably protect health & reduce inequalities – but the devil is in the detail

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | TONY BLAKELY | 2 Comments

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Professors Tony Blakely, Cliona Ni Mhurchu and Nick Wilson

Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

Research teams we lead have published two papers in the last few weeks on food taxes and subsidies – both of which depend on what are called price elasticities.  Timely, in light of the launch last week of Appetite for Destruction that is focusing public attention on our food environment, including taxes and subsidies on food. Continue reading