About this research project
The foods we eat have a critical impact on human health, planetary resources, and climate change. Major shifts are required in what we eat if we are to achieve healthy diets and sustainable food systems.
This research aims to identify an optimal diet that keeps New Zealand (NZ) within the safe operating space for greenhouse gas emissions whilst still meeting population dietary requirements at minimised cost. The effects of this healthy, sustainable diet, as well as policies to help New Zealanders move towards this diet, will be modelled to estimate their health effects, impact on ethnic health inequities, environmental impacts and costs. Consultation will take place to identify policies that are considered feasible and acceptable to policy makers and the public, especially Māori, in order to increase the chances of these policies being adopted.
This research will provide policymakers and practitioners with information on how best to improve population diets to maximise net health and environmental co-benefits and to decrease health inequities in New Zealand.
This project is funded by a Healthier Lives National Science Challenge grant and runs from 2020 to 2023.
Our research team is:
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn (Principal Investigator)
- Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu (University of Auckland)
- Christina McKerchar
- Dr Nhung Nghiem
- Dr Andrew Reynolds
The final results from the study are expected in 2023, however the team will be disseminating interim results in a number of ways over 2021 and 2022.
- Chambers T, Hales S, Shaw C, Baker M, Ball J, Cleghorn C, Wilson N (2021). Climate Change Commission report: the critical need to address the missing health co-benefits of reducing emissions. N Z Med J;134(1542):109-118.
- Cleghorn C, Reynolds C. Chapter 18: Importance of Sustainable Food Environments. Transforming Food Environments. Published by Taylor & Francis Group. 2022.
- Cleghorn C, Mulder I, Macmillan A, Mizdrak A, Drew J, Nghiem N, Blakely T, Ni Mhurchu C (2022). Can a greenhouse gas emissions tax on food also be healthy and equitable? A systematized review and modelling study from Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19, no. 8: 4421.
- Cleghorn C. Healthy Sustainable Diets. Nutrition Society Conference (online), 2 December 2021.
- Cleghorn C (with Nghiem N, Ni Mhurchu C). New Zealand diet optimised for health, cost and climate protection. Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Aotearoa conference. Wellington. 22 June 2021.
- Cleghorn C. Food policy changes: Introducing healthy food policies and their associated environmental and health benefits. Public talk hosted by Evidence Based Eating: The Whole Food Solution. Saving Health. Saving the planet. Wellington, 30 October 2021.
- Announcement of funding from Healthier Lives National Science Challenge: A sustainable diet for health and the environment in New Zealand – Healthier Lives
- Reynolds, A. (2021). The potential for environmental sustainability-driven dietary change to improve health: a systematic review with modelling analyses (Thesis, Master of Public Health). University of Otago.
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn is a member of the Climate Health Aotearoa steering group.
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn participated in the NZ food systems strategy day which fed into the UN food systems summit (2021).
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn participated in visioning day for the future of the University in the context of climate change – World futures workshop Dunedin July 2021.
If you have further questions about the project, please contact:
Dr Cristina Cleghorn