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About us

The SHOP study was a randomised trial of 1,100 supermarket shoppers, half receiving price discounts on healthy food and half not, and half receiving tailored nutritional education and half not. Price discounts were found to be effective at increasing purchasing of healthy food, but did not have a statistically significant impact on nutritional outcome measures (e.g. percent saturated fat). Nutritional education was ineffective. The SHOP study has now been completed.

SHOP was lead by researchers at the Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) at the University of Auckland in conjunction with the Health Inequalities Research Programme. More information about this project can be found here on the CTRU SHOP website.

According to a joint study between the Ministry of Health and the University of Auckland, Nutrition and the Burden of Disease: New Zealand 1997-2011, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity play a role in about 11,000 deaths a year in New Zealand (2 in every 5 deaths). Improved nutrition is key to preventing heart attacks, stroke, obesity and many other major causes of disability and premature death.

Most of our food is bought at supermarkets, so choosing healthier supermarket foods is likely to have important health benefits. SHOP introduces two interventions, namely price discounts on healthy foods and individualised nutrition education, and measures the effects they have on food shopping habits. The primary outcome is the saturated fat content of the purchased foods.

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The SHOP project was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (06/349)


Blakely T, Ni Mhurchu C,Jiang Y, Matoe L, Funaki-Tahifote M, Eyles HC , Foster RH, McKenzie S, Rodgers A. Do effects of price discounts and nutrition education on food purchases vary by ethnicity, income and education? Results from a randomised, controlled trial.J Epidemiol Community Health 2011; doi:10.1136/jech.2010.118588

The University of Auckland media release 03 March 2010. New Zealand study proves benefit of price discounts on healthy foods.

Ni Mhurchu C, Blakely T, Jiang Y, Eyles HC, Rodgers A. Effects of price discounts and tailored nutrition education on supermarket purchases: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010;91:736-747

Eyles H, Jiang Y, Ni Mhurchu C. Use of Household Supermarket Sales Data to Estimate Nutrient Intakes: A Comparison with Repeat 24-Hour Dietary Recalls. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2010;110:106-110

Ni Mhurchu C, Blakely T, Funaki-Tahifote M, McKerchar C, Wilton J, Chua S, Jiang Y. Inclusion of indigenous and ethnic minority populations in intervention trials: challenges and strategies in a New Zealand supermarket study. J Epidemiol Community Health 2009;63:850-855.

Ni Mhurchu C, Blakely T, Wall J, Rodgers A, Jiang Y, Wilton J. Strategies to promote healthier food purchases: A pilot supermarket intervention study. Public Health Nutrition 2007;10(6):608-615.

Ni Mhurchu C, Ogra S. The price of healthy eating: cost and nutrient value of selected regular and healthier supermarket foods in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal 2007;120(1248).

Hamilton S, Ni Mhurchu, C, Priest P. Food and nutrient availability in New Zealand: An analysis of supermarket sales data. Public Health Nutrition 2007;10(12):1448-1455.

Wall J, Ni Mhurchu C, Blakely T, Rodgers A, Wilton J. Effectiveness of Monetary Incentives in Modifying Dietary Behavior: A Review of Randomized, Controlled Trials. Nutrition Reviews 2006;64(12): 518-31.

For additional published items and information, please visit the SHOP website at the Clinical Trials Research Unit.

Our people

University of Otago, Wellington

Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland

  • Cliona Ni Mhurchu (Principal Investigator)
  • Anthony Rodgers (Co-investigator)
  • Helen Eyles
  • Yannan Jiang

SHOP Project
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel 64 4 918 5072

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