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, with data analysis and reporting to stakeholders completed in 2017/2018. The New Zealand National Report  was published in 2018.


Boyd Swinburn LargeProfessor Boyd Swinburn

Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health

The University of Auckland  

Phone: +64 9 923 9135

mobile +64 (0)22 167 9636

Email: Professor Boyd Swinburn

Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere

Research fellow in food policy

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health

The University of Auckland

Email: Stefanie Vandevijvere


Dr Sally Mackay

Research Fellow

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health

The University of Auckland

Email: Sally Mackay



Status (as of December 2018)


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 published.


Private Sector (BIA Obesity)

Food Composition
  • Data collection completed for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. 2019 data collection underway.
  • State of the Food Supply Report due 2019.
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 developed. Data collection completed with data analysis completed, paper published 2018. Magazines: data collection completed and paper published. Internet: data collection completed and paper published. Outdoor advertising: data collection completed for school zones and paper published.
  • 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, Paper on Diet Costs published 2018, Paper on the relative change in price of healthier and less healthy foods over 10 years in New Zealand published 2018.
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, paper published.
  • Hospitals: data collection completed. Manuscript under preparation.
Food Trade & Investment
  • Planning.
D’Souza, E., Vandevijvere, S., & Swinburn, B. (2022). The healthiness of New Zealand school food environments: a national survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 46(3), 325–331.

Garton, K., Thow, A.M., Swinburn, B. (2020). International trade and investment agreements as barriers to food environment regulation for public health nutrition: a realist review. International Journal of Health Policy and Management (in press).DOI:

Mackay, S., Sing, F., Gerritsen, S., Swinburn, B. (2020). Benchmarking Food Environments 2020: Progress by the New Zealand Government on Implementing Recommended Food Environment Policies & Priority Recommendations. Report Number: ISBN 978-0-473-52616-0 Affiliation: The University of Auckland.  Full ReportExecutive Summary 

Vandevijvere, S., Young, N., Mackay, S., Swinburn, B., & Gahegan, M. (2018). Modelling the cost differential between healthy and current diets: the New Zealand case study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(16). DOI 10.1186/s12966-018-0648-6

Stefanie Vandevijvere, S., Aitken, C., & Swinburn, B. (2018). Volume, nature and potential impact of advertisements on Facebook and YouTube by food brands popular in New Zealand. the new Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1473), 14-24.

Mackay, S., Buch, T., Vandevijvere, S., Goodwin, R., Korohina, E., Funaki-Tahifote, M., Lee, A., Swinburn, B. (2018). Cost and Affordability of Diets Modelled on Current Eating Patterns and on Dietary Guidelines, for New Zealand Total Population, Maori and Pacific Households. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 15(6), 1255. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061255.

Vandevijvere, S. Mackay, & B. Swinburn. (2018). Measuring and stimulating progress on implementing widely recommended food environment policies: the New Zealand case study. Health Research Policy and Systems, 16(3), 1-9.

Vandevijvere, S., Molloy, J., Hassen de Medeiros, N., Swinburn, B. (2018). Unhealthy food marketing around New Zealand schools: a national study. Int J Public Health, 63(9), 1099-1107. doi: 10.1007/s00038-018-1158-7

Mackay, S., Vandevijvere, S., Lee, A. (2018). Ten-year trends in the price differential between healthier and less healthy foods in New Zealand. Nutr Diet.

Mahesh, R., Vandevijvere, S., Clare Dominick, C., & Swinburn B. (2018). Relative contributions of recommended food environment policies to improve population nutrition: results from a Delphi study with international food policy experts. Public Health Nutrition, 21(11), 1-7. doi:10.1017/S1368980018001076

Vandevijvere S, Young N, Mackay S, Swinburn B, Gahegan M. Modelling the cost differential between healthy and current diets: the New Zealand case study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2018; 15:16; DOI: 10.1186/s12966-018-0648-6
Vandevijvere S, Mackay S, Swinburn B. Measuring and stimulating progress on implementing widely recommended food environment policies: the New Zealand case study. Health Research Policy and Systems 2018; 16 (3); DOI 10.1186/s12961-018-0278-0
Vandevijvere S, Waterlander W, Molloy J, Nattrass H, Swinburn B. Towards healthier supermarkets: a national study of in-store food availability, prominence and promotions in New Zealand. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 01/2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41430-017-0078-6
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