New Zealand

INFORMAS in New Zealand is run by Professor Boyd Swinburn and Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere.

INFORMAS will be fully implemented in New Zealand with all 9 modules as part of the first national survey of the healthiness of food environments. The New Zealand team has developed and built relationships with the majority of regional District Health Boards who are interested in mapping the healthiness of their local food environments, and we have worked with them to collect data in the regions across New Zealand.

The majority of data collection was completed during 2016, and looking ahead into 2017 our team will analyse the data, report to stakeholders and write up publications

Professor Boyd SwinburnProfessor Boyd Swinburn

Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health

The University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor; Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention Deakin University, Melbourne

Phone: +64 9 923 9135, mobile +64 (0)22 167 9636

Email: Professor Boyd Swinburn

Dr Stefanie VandevijvereDr Stefanie Vandevijvere

Research fellow in food policy

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health

The University of Auckland

Email: Stefanie Vandevijvere

Module Status (as of 08/17) Outputs
Public Sector (Food EPI) – Report and summary Food-EPI 2014 published

– Report and summary Food-EPI 2017 published

– Paper Food-EPI 2014 published

– Paper Food-EPI 2017 submitted

Private Sector

(BIA Obesity)

The BIA (Business Impact Assessment)-Obesity is currently being implemented with the help of an honours student (Apurva Kasture). About 30 companies are included in the assessment. Publically available policies and commitments have been collected and scored and the team is now trying to engage with all the companies to update the information. Launch of the results is planned for end of 2017. 15
Food Composition Data collection completed for 2015, 2016 and 2017
Food Labelling Data collection and analysis completed for 2015.

Two scientific publications have been published.

Food Promotion – Television: Data collected in 2015 and published

– Social media/Facebook: Company pages on Facebook analysed and submitted for publication, AdHealth extension for capturing advertisements on Facebook under development
– Magazines: data collection completed and paper published
– Internet: data collection completed and paper published
– Outdoor advertising: data collection completed for school zones and paper under preparation

– A comparison of nutrient profiling modules for restricting marketing to children in New Zealand has been done and published

Food Prices Data collection completed for foods, meals and diets

PhD completed on this subject (Sally Mackay)

Programme developed (DIETCOST) for the diet approach

Paper on the meals study has been published, other publications are under preparation.

Food Retail – In-store: validation study done and published, data collection in supermarkets completed and manuscript submitted, data collection in fast food and takeaway outlets also completed
– Community retail food environments: Paper published– School food zones: Paper published
Food Provision – Schools: data collection completed
– Early Childhood Education: data collection completed
– Hospitals: data collection completedManuscripts under preparation
Food Trade & Investment Planning

Mackay S, Vandevijvere S, Xie P, Lee A, Swinburn B. Paying for convenience: comparing the cost of takeaway meals with their healthier home-cooked counterparts in New Zealand. Public Health Nutrition 06/2017; DOI: 10.1017/S1368980017000805

Vandevijvere S, Mackay S, Swinburn B. Benchmarking Food Environments 2017: Progress by the New Zealand Government on implementing recommended food environment policies and priority recommendations. Report number: ISBN  978-0-473-40555-7, Affiliation: The University of Auckland, DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.33039.28323

Vandevijvere, S, Soupen A, Swinburn B. Unhealthy food advertising directed to children on New Zealand television: extent, nature, impact and policy implications. Public Health Nutrition 05/2017,

Sushil Z, Vandevijvere, S, Exeter D, Swinburn B. Food swamps by area socioeconomic deprivation in New Zealand: A national study. International Journal of Public Health 05/2017, DOI:10.1007/s00038-017-0983-4

Vandevijvere, S, Mackenzie T, Ni Mhurchu C. Indicators of the relative availability of healthy versus unhealthy foods in supermarkets: A validation study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 04/2017; 14(53).,

Ni Mhurchu C, Mackenzie T, Vandevijvere, S: Protecting New Zealand children from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks: a comparison of three nutrient profiling systems to classify foods. The New Zealand medical journal 09/2016; 129(1441).

Al-Ani H, Devi A, Eyles H, Swinburn B, Vandevijvere, S: Nutrition and health claims on healthy and less-healthy packaged food products in New Zealand. The British journal of nutrition 08/2016; -1, DOI:

Vandevijvere, S, Sushil Z, Exeter D, Swinburn B. Obesogenic Retail Food Environments Around New Zealand Schools: A National Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 04/2016; 51(3), DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.03.013

Sacks G, Mialon M, Vandevijvere S, Trevena H, Snowdon W, Crino M, Swinburn B. Comparison of food industry policies and commitments on marketing to children and product (re)formulation in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Critical Public Health. 2015; 25(3): 299-319, DOI: 1080/09581596.2014.946888

Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B. Pilot test of the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) to increase government actions for creating healthy food environments. BMJ Open. 2015; 5(1): e006194. DOI:1136/bmjopen-2014-006194

Vandevijvere C, Dominick C, Anandita Devi, Swinburn B. The Healthy Food Environment Policy Index: Findings of an expert panel in New Zealand. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2015; 93(5): 294-302, DOI: 2471/BLT.14.145540

Devi A, Eyles H, Rayner M, Ni Mhurchu C, Swinburn B, Lonsdale-Cooper E, Vandevijvere S. Nutritional quality, labelling and promotion of breakfast cereals on the New Zealand market. Appetite.2014; 81(1): 253-260, DOI:1016/j.appet.2014.06.019

No E, Kelly B, Devi A, Swinburn B, Vandevijvere S. Food references and marketing in popular magazines for children and adolescents in New Zealand.  A content analysis. Appetite. 2014; 83: 75-81, DOI: 1016/j.appet.2014.08.013

Swinburn, B., Dominick, C, Vandevijvere, S. 2014 Benchmarking food environments: Experts’ Assessments of Policy Gaps and Priorities for the New Zealand Government. Report number: ISBN: 978-0-473-29283-6, The University of Auckland.Stefanie Vandevijvere, Karuna Sagar, Bridget Kelly, Boyd Swinburn: Unhealthy food marketing to New Zealand children and adolescents through the internet. The New Zealand medical journal 02/2017; 130(1450).

Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B. Towards global benchmarking of food environments and policies to reduce obesity and diet-related non-conmmunicable diseases: design and methods for nation-wide surveys.BMJ Open. 2014; 4(5): e005339. DOI:1136/bmjopen-2014-005339

  • Health Research Council of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Heart Foundation
  • University of Auckland, Faculty Research Development Fund
  • Middlemore Clinical Trials Trust
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