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Media releases of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit (HePPRU)

What does poverty look like from a child’s perspective?

Friday, 5 August 2022 11:05am

New research has revealed the “shameful” extent of child poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Otago study finds children exposed to a brand a minute

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 10:57am

Attaching cameras to children has revealed they are exposed to 554 brands a day through marketing, a new study from the University of Otago has found.

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Progress in the Pacific on sugary drink taxes - research

Tuesday, 8 June 2021 9:17am

Pacific nations are leading the way regionally with taxes on sugary drinks in a bid to battle obesity and related diseases, new University of Otago-led research reveals.

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Kiwi kids consume five unhealthy snacks a day

Thursday, 11 February 2021 2:41pm

On average, 12-year-old children snack on unhealthy food and beverages five times a day, according to new research from the University of Otago.

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New research collaboration to fight cancer in New Zealand

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 8:57am

University of Otago cancer researchers are coming together in a new collaboration awarded a $2 million grant by the Cancer Society in a bid to better tackle a leading cause of death in New Zealand.

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Kids’ everyday exposure to food marketing

Monday, 8 April 2019 1:24pm

You can view an introduction to a paper where Professor Louise Signal is a lead author. Her research used cameras on children to study their exposure to food marketing.

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Are we closing the health gap?

Thursday, 21 February 2019 10:58am

Listen to Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, participate in a radio panel interview considering progress in addressing health inequities.

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Anywhere, anytime: New Zealand children’s exposure to alcohol marketing

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 10:56am

Innovative camera research has revealed New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on average 4.5 times per day.

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Junk food dominates NZ sport

Monday, 9 July 2018 9:03am

Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Radical new framework for trade and investment treaties

Monday, 14 May 2018 12:44pm

A team from the University of Otago, Wellington has just published a radical new framework for designing international trade and investment treaties.

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Shade shortage in Wellington playgrounds: Otago research highlights the need to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ this summer

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 4:51pm

Children visiting playgrounds this summer may be at high risk of sunburn, according to a new study from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 4:11pm

Now available as an e-book... a must-read for all in health promotion.

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Calls for government restrictions on fast food sponsorship deals

Wednesday, 8 June 2016 9:39am

Calls for government restrictions on fast food sponsorship deals

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New Zealand solutions to complex Public Health problems

Friday, 28 August 2015 8:49am

A new book, Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand, provides an in-depth scan of the health promotion landscape in New Zealand. It explores ways in which Māori, and other perspectives, have been melded with Western ideas to produce distinctly New Zealand approaches. In doing so it addresses the need for locally written material for use in teaching and practice, and provides direction for those wanting to solve complex public health problems.

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Many drinks children associate with sport are largely unhealthy - study

Friday, 8 August 2014 11:47am

Urgent action is needed to help children and parents make healthier choices when it comes to the drinks children consume when playing sport, say University of Otago, Wellington researchers.

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Good intentions, but inadequate sun protection practices at early childhood centres - study

Friday, 14 February 2014 4:34pm

Inadequate sun protection policies and practices at early childhood centres (ECCs) in New Zealand could be putting children at risk of skin cancer later in life, a new study shows.

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Study prompts call for ban on manipulative junk food advertising to children

Friday, 7 February 2014 9:25am

A ban on manipulative junk food advertising to children is urgently needed to help fight increasing rates of childhood obesity, say University of Otago Wellington researchers.

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Food, fizzy, and football: unhealthy food and drink promoted through sport

Thursday, 14 February 2013 9:51am

Public health researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW), are concerned that some food and drink companies selling unhealthy food also sponsor popular, televised sports in New Zealand.

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‘Loan sharks’ need tougher regulation and controls

Monday, 20 August 2012 3:25pm

Recent research from the University of Otago, Wellington shows that loan sharks charging interest rates of up to 400% per annum are exploiting Maori, Pacific and low income New Zealanders and need to be better regulated.

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Improving the labelling of food for health

Friday, 20 April 2012 11:41am

Front-of-pack (FOP) labelling of food in New Zealand has support from industry, policy-makers and NGOs according to new research from the Universities of Otago and Auckland.

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Nutrition policy favours food industry - not public health

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 3:49pm

The national nutrition policy formulated by Labour and National-led Governments favours the food industry over public health according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Doctors and public health researchers say shocking diabetes rates can be reduced

Friday, 12 August 2011 12:02pm

Leading medical specialists, public health researchers and nutritionists warn that not enough is being done to prevent the rapidly increasing diabetes rates, largely caused by significant increases in obesity in adults and children in recent years.

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Otago health researchers gain major lottery grants support

Monday, 29 November 2010 8:35am

University of Otago scientists have gained around $1.71M in new funding from the Lottery Grants Board to pursue health research that will benefit New Zealanders. Around $3.36M was distributed nationally in the latest Lottery Health Research round.

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The tobacco report: A kaupapa to save 5000 lives a year

Friday, 26 November 2010 9:10am

An editorial in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal describes the recent Māori Affairs Select Committee (MASC) report on tobacco as bold and visionary.

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Clash of views on healthy food labelling

Friday, 15 October 2010 4:11pm

Food manufacturers and the public health sector are at loggerheads over front-of-pack nutrition labelling, according to an editorial in today’s issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal.

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Landmark Aust. study on cost-effectiveness of preventing disease – New Zealand has much to learn

Wednesday, 8 September 2010 12:35pm

New Zealand has much to learn from an Australian programme of research on the cost-effectiveness of 150 interventions to prevent or treat disease, according to researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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New Zealand women targeted by tobacco companies

Friday, 28 May 2010 8:48am

Despite the passing of the Smoke-free Environments Act in 1990 restricting advertising and sponsorship of tobacco, tobacco companies are still targeting women with their marketing according to a team of researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and a Māori health research group – Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development.

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New tobacco tax strategy needed to reduce smoking

Friday, 29 January 2010 4:00pm

Efforts to reduce smoking in New Zealand have been undermined since 2001 by increased tobacco affordability due to increased average incomes and a failure to raise tobacco taxes above inflation, according to researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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New Zealanders support an end to all tobacco sales by 2020

Friday, 29 January 2010 3:59pm

New research just published in the New Zealand Medical Journal shows strong support for an end to tobacco sales within 10 years, with significantly more New Zealanders agreeing to this than disagreeing.

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Comprehensive health recommendations published

Monday, 19 October 2009 3:58pm

Comprehensive recommendations to improve food security and increase physical activity have been made by a University of Otago and University of Auckland research consortium.

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Smokefree parks are working without smoke police

Thursday, 24 September 2009 2:56pm

Research published today from the University of Otago, Wellington has identified smokefree outdoor parks as a significant and growing new area for smokefree policies in New Zealand.

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Smoking ban in cars supported by all types of smokers

Friday, 7 August 2009 12:17pm

A clear majority of New Zealand smokers across all socio-economic and ethnic groups support a ban on smoking in cars carrying pre-school children, according to latest research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Litter study identifies missed tobacco tax revenue

Tuesday, 4 August 2009 11:45am

A study of street-collected cigarette packs indicates the Government is missing out on at least $36 million dollars of tax because of the consumption of foreign duty free cigarettes and those purchased in other countries.