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Physical activity and nutrition research

Food, nutrition, physical activity, and body composition (overweight and obesity) have been identified as playing a central part in the prevention of cancer.

While this is a very broad field, Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit (SBRU) work to date has focused on three of the priority recommendations in this field:

  • To support physical activity
  • Limit foods and drinks that promote weight gain
  • Eat mostly foods of plant origin

Physical activity and healthy nutrition are complex behaviours. Over the years, SBRU work has explored individual and societal influences on physical activity and nutrition, developed and tested new interventions, and supported the translation of this research evidence into policy and practice.

While, to date, the majority of the SBRU research programme has focused on physical activity and healthy nutrition for cancer risk reduction, our research has also highlighted the benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors, and has explored barriers and opportunities for the provision of physical activity services for cancer survivors by the Cancer Society.

Current physical activity and nutrition projects

  • Are NZ adults aware of the roles of alcohol, physical inactivity and poor nutrition in cancer risk?
  • Cancer perceptions among university students: evaluating the impact of a targeted Relay for Life event on awareness of cancer risk factors?
  • Edible gardens in schools and preschools in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Evidence based facilitation of safe utilitarian cycle use in NZ: a case study
  • Following their footsteps? Active transport among adolescents and their parents
  • Re-LOCATE - determining the place of children's physical activity

Physical activity and nutrition research team

Publications