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Congratulations to Penny Field on her graduation.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Human Nutrition Head of Department, Samir Samman congratulates Penny at graduation.

Penny with Samir at Graduation

The title of her PhD thesis "Advocacy for Using Evidence in Public Health Nutrition Policy making".

With a growing body of evidence supporting interventions that will effectively address obesity and other nutrition-related non-communicable diseases it is surprising that these diseases continue to cause suffering to increasing numbers of New Zealanders. Researchers and other stakeholders often despair that such evidence is not informing government policy. Using the ‘What works?’ approach to improving the use of evidence in policy making this research explored how advocates can make a difference.

A theoretical model for advocacy for evidence use was developed and then refined through a policy case study on food marketing to New Zealand children. Results indicate that advocacy for using evidence is needed in three areas. To change the meta policy ‘rules’ around how policy is made; to shift the policy making processes towards deliberately considering a wide range of systematically assembled evidence; to persuade the wider public health nutrition policy community of the benefits of pursuing common evidence-informed goals.