Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

About us

Healthy eating is essential to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and many other major health issues in New Zealand. Nutrition labels aim to inform consumers about the nutrient value of foods and to guide food choices. Current labelling systems are not understood by many, and one format increasingly recommended is 'traffic light' labelling.

  • Green = healthier choice
  • Amber = OK choice
  • Red = less healthy choice

Our proposed research will provide important information on a promising nutrition labelling intervention and the feasibility of a large trial to measure its effectiveness.


  1. Evaluating consumer preferences and understanding of two traffic light systems (simple or multiple), and effective ways to promote them;
  2. Working out how different foods should be classified;
  3. Engaging with stakeholders regarding implementation;
  4. Assessing differences in cost and availability of healthier foods as classified with the new systems; and
  5. A pilot to assess practicalities related to implementation of the intervention


This is a Health Research Council of New Zealand feasibility study. Additional funding is from Food Safety Authority of New Zealand and the Ministry of Health.

Our people

University of Otago

Other organisations

  • Cliona Ni Mhurchu (Principle Investigator); Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland
  • Craig Heta; Te Hotu Manawa Māori

Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel: +64 4 385 5541 ext 6477
Fax: +64 4 389 5319

Back to top