Hot Topics

Grain fibre inadequacy costs New Zealand millions of dollars

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are some of New Zealand’s biggest health challenges, and among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. They reduce not only quality of life, but also the country’s productivity. It is not surprising then, that both CVD and T2D contribute to the country’s healthcare costs.

Healthy food choices in childhood....

Cutting saturated fat in childrens' diets reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, a University of Otago study has found.

Salt the forgotten killer

With nutrition experts and wellness bloggers constantly waging war on sugar it’s easy to forget about salt, turning it into the forgotten killer. This week is World Salt Awareness Week and the message is simple, eat less salt and you lower your chances of dying prematurely.

World Kidney Day 2017

Every year World Kidney Day highlights the importance of Kidney Health and Disease to populations around the world. This year World Kidney Day is focusing on Obesity and its relationship with kidneys. Obesity is not a new health problem but unfortunately it is affecting more and more people every year, both here in New Zealand and Internationally. Unfortunately, here in New Zealand the rates of obesity are higher than virtually any other Western country – with almost one in three adults categorized as obese (32%) a further 35% of adults as overweight but not obese.

Coeliac suffers hard hit by high gluten-free prices

People on a gluten-free diet sometimes have to fork out up to 500 per cent more for products that meet their dietary requirements. Research completed for Coeliac New Zealand compared supermarket prices of standard food products and their gluten-free alternatives. It found everything from gluten-free pizza bases to Weetbix and white toast bread were more expensive than their standard counterparts, sometimes up to five times the price. Mum-of-two Jaki George-Tunnicliffe was advised to cut out gluten to help ease her son's stomach pain. I think the high prices for gluten-free food are offensive and opportunistic given the captive audience they cater to," she said. Keeping to a gluten-free diet is hard enough as it is without having to pay top dollar for the privilege."

Make a Donation to NZ Nutrition Foundation

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation relies on several sources of income, including donations. Donations assist us in extending our influence, increasing our activities and, ultimately, achieving our mission of informed, healthy and enjoyable food choices for New Zealanders.

Big Change Starts Small

A new public awareness campaign has been announced to encourage New Zealanders to make healthy lifestyle changes to tackle childhood obesity. The campaign - Big Change Starts Small - is one of 22 initiatives in the Government’s Obesity plan announced recently by the Minister of Health and Sport and Recreation Jonathan Coleman

New eating and activity guidelines for adults

The new Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults have been released by Associate Minister of Health Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today. The guidelines are written for health practitioners and others who provide advice on nutrition and physical activity for New Zealand adults.

10 Red Flags of Junk Science

To help people sort out the junk from honest nutrition, a recent Tufts University Nutrition magazine (Summer 2014) reported a list of ‘10 Red Flags of Junk Science’ published by the Food and Nutrition Alliance – a partnership of several American professional scientific associations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition.

New Frequently Asked Questions Children Section

We have recently added a a childrens section to our Frequently Asked Questions pages. If you are looking for ideas on how to reduce your children's intake of sugar or wondering about what snacks to give your active child then these pages provide useful information on these topics and more.

A perspective on Sugar

While searching through our archives we came across the NZNF newsletter from May 1993 and guess what the feature article was…. SUGAR: THE MYTHS! As Jean Baptiste Karr said, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”, or loosely translated, the more things change the more they stay the same. The 1993 piece begins “Misinformation abounds in the community about many foods and nutrients, but perhaps more fallacious ‘information’ is spoken and written about sugar than any other food. We’ve all heard the expression ‘pure, white and deadly’ …….and many people in the community …… have come to believe it of sugar, particularly ordinary white table sugar”. Sound familiar?

Ageing Well launches, the latest national science challenge

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, one of 11 planned by the government to tackle the country's biggest science-based issues.

Eggs and healthy ageing

In a new article from Julian Jensen, the importance of eggs in terms of healthy ageing is discussed. Eggs contain many of the nutrients which are essential for the healthy aging and well-being of older adults

NZ adopts new healthy food labelling system

Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye has announced that the government will be adopting a new Health Star Rating food labelling system. The new system uses a star rating scale of ½ to 5 stars and, except for some exclusions such as alcohol, is able to be used on all packaged food products for retail sale. Foods with more stars reflect better nutritional value. The number of stars is determined by an algorithm that considers the overall nutritional value of the food.

Food data to keep New Zealand healthy

Health and nutrition professionals, policymakers and people with an interest in food can now access updated nutritional analyses of foods common to the New Zealand diet. The latest edition of the New Zealand Food Composition Database (NZFCD) publication– holds information on 2,600 foods, including new or updated data for 81 foods that have become increasingly common in the New Zealand diet such as gluten-free breads, soy and chilli sauces, new breakfast cereals and breakfast drinks, and various vegetables.

Health groups call on fast food giants to reduce salt

The Stroke Foundation and the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) at the University of Auckland are calling on fast food companies in New Zealand to reduce the salt in their food as part of World Salt Awareness Week which takes place from 10th to 16th March. Recent research has shown that reducing our current salt intake to recommended levels could prevent nearly six percent of strokes1. This would equate to over one stroke prevented each day or over 500 each year.

Diabetes NZ are putting the spotlight on Diabetes

Diabetes is one of New Zealand’s most serious health issues, over 225,000 Kiwis have diabetes and every day 50 more people are diagnosed. There’s much that needs to be done, but the most important place to start is to raise awareness so Diabetes NZ has launched a long term diabetes awareness programme.

New findings on health loss and where gains might be made

The Ministry of Health has just released a new “Burden of Disease” study for New Zealand – a culmination of many years of study into disability, disease and premature death. “We congratulate the Ministry of Health staff for this very impressive body of work at both the national level and the international level,” says Professor Tony Blakely, Director of the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE3) at the University of Otago, Wellington. The findings reinforce the need for the Government to improve the country’s progress towards the smokefree nation goal and improve the nutritional environment.

NZ app to fight two of the nations biggest killers

A revolutionary smartphone app launched today will empower New Zealand shoppers to make healthier food choices - reducing their risk of dying early from two of the nation’s biggest killers, heart attack and stroke.In three easy steps, New Zealand consumers can reduce excessively high levels of fat, salt and sugar in their families’ diets and share shopping lists with friends via social media. Originally developed in Australia by The George Institute for Global Health and tailored for New Zealand shoppers by The University of Auckland researchers, FoodSwitch allows users to scan the barcode of packaged foods using their Smartphone camera and receive immediate, easy to understand nutritional advice and see healthier choices.

The Importance of Fluoride

For some communities, the debate over water fluoridation can become confusing. Misinformation can cloud the real issues. This short three-minute presentation from the Ministry of Health provides a summary of the key facts on water fluoridation in a New Zealand context. Click here to view the video

Professor David Simmons Seminar

Professor David Simmons (currently AUT Visiting Professor) presented a seminar entitled The Rise and rise of diabetes: Pay now or pay (more) later at AUT University Akoranga Campus. The seminar discussed diabetes pandemic proportions and hence the increased need for hospitalisation, dialysis and drugs.

Shopping List for One

Shopping for One – a handy guide to eat well for one week has been produced in partnership with Heinz-Watties. Please click here to view the shopping guide or printed copies may be ordered by emailing: