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LINZ Nutrition & Activity Research Unit


The LINZ Unit, formerly known as the Life in New Zealand Activity and Health Research Unit, was attached to the School of Physical Education under the directorship of Professor David Russell, and following his retirement, Dr Noela Wilson. They were responsible for the 1989 Hillary Commission Life in New Zealand Survey (LINZ89), the National Nutrition Survey of adults in 1997 (NNS97), and the national Children’s Nutrition Survey in 2002 (CNS02). Following Noela’s retirement the Unit was transferred to the Department of Human Nutrition, and was contracted by the Ministry of Health to conduct the 2008/09 national Adult Nutrition Survey (ANS08/09).


Publications from the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey
Publications from the 2002 Children’s Nutrition Survey
Publications from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey

University of Otago and Ministry of Health. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Parnell W, Scragg R, Wilson N, Schaaf D, Fitzgerald E. NZ Food: NZ Children. Key results of the 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health 2003.

Russell D, Parnell W, Wilson N and the principal investigators of the 1997 National Nutrition Survey. NZ Food: NZ People. Key results of the 1997 National Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health 1999.

Russell DG and Wilson NC. Life in New Zealand Commission Reports (a series of books). Dunedin: University of Otago 1991.

Overview of 2008/09 Survey

The 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey was a cross-sectional population survey. It provides information on food and nutrient intakes, body measurements and blood test results of a representative sample of adults aged 15 years and above, living in households throughout New Zealand.

The Survey was conducted by the University of Otago in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Data collection took place between October 2008 and October 2009.

This project is the fourth comprehensive food and nutrition survey of New Zealand adults. It provides data for comparison with previous and future surveys.


Population nutrition surveys are the cornerstone of food and nutrition monitoring, and are the only source of detailed and specific information on food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status.

Data from the NZ Adult Nutrition Survey assists the work of many Government and non-government organisations, and has been used for the following purposes:

• Food and Nutrition Monitoring: This is the only means of obtaining data on food consumption, nutrient intake and factors influencing dietary intake.

• Monitoring nutritional status using anthropometry, biochemical and clinical measures. This includes vital data on obesity rates, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, iron status, iodine and folate status in the population.

• Development of food and nutrition policies and guidelines, such as the Ministry of Health’s Food and Nutrition Guidelines, and the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.

• Dietary modelling for risk assessment (e.g. for additives and contaminants), and development of food regulations related to food composition, e.g. mandatory fortification, labelling and safety of foods.

• Identifying and guiding future research direction and priorities.

• Development and evaluation of nutrition and health programmes, services and resources, providing information as a basis for education for patients and the general public, and for community health promotion

Contact details

LINZ Nutrition and Activity Research Unit
Department of Human Nutrition

Phone number 03 479 7959    
Fax number 03 479 5958