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Recent media releases from The Department of Public Health

Pānui pāpāho

Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:54am

Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health in New Zealand. Diet-related diseases (and how we manage them) is becoming a pressing issue for the country.

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Otago experts question use of consultants who worked for tobacco industry in NZ tobacco review

Friday, 24 August 2018 2:31pm

University of Otago researchers believe Government actions may be inconsistent with its tobacco treaty obligations by employing a consulting firm that has worked globally for the tobacco industry, to advise on tobacco taxation.

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Closing NZ’s border in severe pandemics cost-effective – New study

Thursday, 9 August 2018 7:20am

Closing the border may make sense for New Zealand in some extreme pandemic situations, according to a newly published study of the costs and benefits of taking this step.

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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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Major fundamental changes required to achieve health equity

Monday, 9 July 2018 9:15am

In comparing efforts to address health inequities, researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) and the United States (US) have found that both countries are failing to align policy with evidence-based approaches that could help achieve equity.

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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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Smokefree 2025: An opportunity for big scores by the Government

Friday, 22 June 2018 10:17am

A group of tobacco control experts today published an open letter in the New Zealand Medical Journal calling for bold new actions from the New Zealand Government to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal.

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Almost $19 million awarded to Otago researchers in Health Research Council funding

Monday, 18 June 2018 10:21am

A new study investigating for the first time the health of occupants of leaky homes in New Zealand is one of many University of Otago-led projects being funded this year by the Health Research Council to the tune of almost $19 million.

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New Zealand leads call to improve health for indigenous people globally

Friday, 1 June 2018 3:59pm

An open letter published today in a leading international medical journal, Lancet Oncology, calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) and Governments to prioritise health improvements for Indigenous peoples worldwide.

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Cold New Zealand council housing getting an upgrade

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:17am

University of Otago, Wellington researchers are advocating for standards to bring all New Zealand housing up to the World Health Organization minimum standard which recommends indoor temperature of 18 degrees celcius.

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Warning labels on alcohol containers highly deficient, new research shows

Monday, 21 May 2018 2:23pm

Current health warning labels on alcohol beverage containers in New Zealand are highly deficient, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington shows.

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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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Study aiming to improve New Zealand’s low breastfeeding rates

Thursday, 3 May 2018 1:24pm

University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers are leading a new collaborative study to find out why New Zealand breastfeeding rates are so low and even dropping.

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Otago researchers claim inaugural Māori researcher fellowships

Monday, 30 April 2018 2:25pm

Two University of Otago researchers of Ngāpuhi descent are being rewarded with new prestigious four-year fellowships aimed at providing better health and well-being for Māori.

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International agreement provides Otago opportunity to help shape global cancer agenda

Friday, 20 April 2018 2:25pm

In a New Zealand first, the University of Otago has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

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Safety warning labels needed on fresh chicken, say researchers

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 9:07am

New research has found that many New Zealand consumers are unaware of the high levels of Campylobacter contamination of fresh chicken and most want safety labelling about the risks on poultry products.

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Threats from tobacco industry stalled New Zealand plain packs legislation

Friday, 13 April 2018 12:37pm

Threats of lawsuits by the tobacco industry helped delay the New Zealand legislation for plain tobacco packs by at least three years, new University of Otago research suggests.

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New Zealand dentists pick up the pieces when ‘dental tourism’ goes bad

Thursday, 12 April 2018 11:40am

New Zealand dentists are increasingly having to provide remedial treatment where things have gone wrong for “dental tourists” who travel abroad for dental work.

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Taxing sugary drinks a no-brainer for New Zealand

Wednesday, 4 April 2018 10:24am

On 1 April 2018, the United Kingdom introduced a sugary drinks tax, an important public health measure that University of Otago, Wellington, public health researchers believe should be happening in New Zealand too.

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Evidence from 100 years ago of socio-economic position and shorter lifespans in New Zealand men

Monday, 26 March 2018 10:11am

For the first time, Otago researchers have identified evidence of socio-economic inequalities resulting in different death rates in New Zealand men from 100 years ago.

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More sustainable transport for better health in New Zealand cities

Friday, 23 March 2018 1:51pm

Can your local council stop you getting heart disease or cancer? Yes, say researchers in a new study led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Research suggests promoting smokefree homes may help reduce teen smoking

Thursday, 22 March 2018 1:52pm

New Zealand children and teens growing up in smokefree homes are less likely to take up smoking, even if their parents are smokers, a University of Otago, Wellington, study has found.

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Standardised packaging a good move, but Otago researchers call for more in fight against tobacco

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 2:59pm

Today marks the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products sold in New Zealand.

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Study of smoking among doctors and nurses shows very low smoking prevalence and Smokefree 2025 goal can be achieved

Friday, 9 March 2018 10:57am

A new study on smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand finds smoking has declined steadily within these healthcare professions. Researchers say this shows that very low smoking rates can be achieved in large occupational groups, suggesting that New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal is reachable.

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Teachers suffer post-traumatic stress following ‘quakes – Otago research highlights

Thursday, 1 March 2018 2:56pm

School teachers were among the majority of frontline workers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the Christchurch earthquakes, new University of Otago research shows.

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Out of prison and back to smoking?

Friday, 23 February 2018 4:20pm

A lack of support means many prisoners relapse back to smoking on release, despite many wanting to stay smokefree, a new study has found.

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Considering public health issues- the 22nd Public Health Summer School

Monday, 5 February 2018 9:05am

Leading international and New Zealand health experts will be in Wellington to participate in the 22nd Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington in February. The Public Health Summer School will be officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark on 7 February.

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Few drinking fountains in New Zealand playgrounds – New study

Friday, 2 February 2018 2:50pm

New research has found that only a fifth (20 per cent) of childrens’ playgrounds in the lower North Island of New Zealand had drinking fountains (11 out of 54 playgrounds).

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Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

Monday, 15 January 2018 9:12am

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

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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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Sex advice and Siri? To Google or not to Google? These are the questions

Thursday, 14 December 2017 9:31am

In an article published today in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, New Zealand researchers found that Google laptop searches performed better at finding online sexual health advice than the digital assistants on smartphones.

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How do firearms, floods and flu impact public health?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 8:24am

Firearms and public health, impacts of New Zealand’s most common natural hazard - flooding, and lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic are just some of the courses and seminar talks being offered by the University of Otago, Wellington’s Public Health Summer School.

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No hat, no play? Not always: Otago research

Thursday, 7 December 2017 2:44pm

Many children may not be sun-safe during school lunch breaks, research from the University of Otago, Wellington, reveals.

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Giving cash without strings attached can improve health

Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:05pm

New research has shown governments can help improve health in low and middle income countries, simply by providing cash to people living in poverty.

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Kids in Space Study: Where do our children go?

Thursday, 9 November 2017 9:04am

New Zealand children stick close to home, innovative research from Otago, Auckland and Harvard Universities has revealed.

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Small changes can make big differences for tenants, study finds

Friday, 3 November 2017 9:10am

Even minor improvements to new buildings can make a significant difference to tenants’ comfort, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found.

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Marsden Fund backs Otago’s research in best ever round

Friday, 3 November 2017 10:04am

University of Otago researchers have gained around $24m for 33 world-class research projects in the latest Marsden Fund annual round – the University’s most successful round ever.

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Study shows NZers who cycle and walk for transport are more physically active

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:37am

New Zealanders who walk and cycle for transport are much more likely to have adequate levels of physical activity than those who drive cars.

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No smokefree signs at New Zealand racecourses, study shows

Friday, 27 October 2017 12:25pm

A survey of New Zealand racecourses and sports grounds with stands has found no smokefree signs at the racecourses and signage at less than half the sports grounds.

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Provide more water fountains at playgrounds, say researchers

Thursday, 19 October 2017 11:14am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found that only six per cent of Wellington City children’s playgrounds have drinking water fountains.

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NZ-China links in non-communicable disease research strengthened

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 2:21pm

The signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) at the University of Otago with three leading Shanghai institutions due to be held tomorrow is a welcome sign of the growing collaborations between New Zealand and Chinese health researchers, according to organisers.

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NZ kids can’t escape alcohol marketing next to bread and milk

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:19pm

New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on nearly every visit to the supermarket, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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New research shows NZ children are surrounded by junk food ads

Monday, 9 October 2017 5:25pm

New Zealand children are exposed to around 27 unhealthy food advertisements per day, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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New Zealand teens’ risky behaviour rates reduced since the 1990s

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 11:38am

Overall today’s adolescents are ‘better behaved’ than teens in the 1990s, says a University of Otago, Wellington researcher.