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Science Alert: Experts Respond

Folate-autism link research questioned – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 12th, 2016.

Independent experts are unconvinced by unpublished research reporting a link between expecting mothers’ levels of folate – a vitamin pregnant women are encouraged to take – and autism in children. Pregnant women are encouraged to take the B vitamin folate, as deficiency is linked to the development of lethal or debilitating birth defects. However researchers […]

Should NZ copy the UK sugar tax? – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 17th, 2016.

The UK have announced plans to introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Should New Zealand follow suit? In the newly announced 2016 Budget, the UK Government outlines plans to “introduce a new soft drinks industry levy to help tackle childhood obesity, by incentivising companies to reduce the sugar in the drinks they sell, to fund […]

Health Star Rating labels – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 16th, 2016.

The Government has this week launched the public awareness campaign for the new Health Star Rating front-of-pack labelling, aiming to help consumers make healthier choices. The labels have been quietly appearing on a range of packaged food products over the last year; around 1,000 products with Health Star Ratings are now on supermarket shelves. The […]

Failing food production to kill 500,000 in 2050 – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 3rd, 2016.

Unchecked climate change will hit food production so severely that an extra half a million people could die through changes in diet and bodyweight in 2050, compared with a world where emissions are curtailed. The figure comes from a new UK study published today in the leading medical journal the Lancet. Taking into account projected […]

IARC review on red & processed meat – In the News

John Kerr posted in on October 28th, 2015.

The release of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s review of meat and cancer risk has  dominated the news media. The World Health Organization agency evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat and announced their findings this week. The Working Group of 22 experts determined the consumption of […]

Childhood obesity plan – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on October 20th, 2015.

A wide-ranging series of initiatives designed to tackle childhood obesity was unveiled by the Government yesterday afternoon. The package is made up of 22 initiatives, which are either new or an expansion of existing programmes. The focus is on food, the environment and being active at each life stage, starting during pregnancy and early childhood. […]

Ultra-processed foods prevalent & unhealthy – research

John Kerr posted in on July 30th, 2015.

The most processed packaged foods are also the least healthy, according to new research examining hundreds of products sold in New Zealand supermarkets. The authors of the study, published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, found that the large majority (83 per cent) of packaged products available fell into the category of  ‘ultra-processed.’ These products […]

PM’s Chief science advisor on sugar, obesity and taxes

John Kerr posted in on July 30th, 2015.

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Prof Sir Peter Gluckman, spoke this morning on the Paul Henry Show discussing the issue of taxes on unhealthy food. You can watch the interview by clicking on the image below.

Food taxes and subsidies change diets, save lives – study

John Kerr posted in on July 9th, 2015.

Health-related food taxes and subsidies could improve diets and reduce deaths from diet related disease in New Zealand, according to a new study. In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers estimated the effects of five different tax and subsidy scenarios using data on food expenses and health and showed that, for […]

Chocolate linked to lower heart attack and stroke risk – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 16th, 2015.

A large new study has added weight to claims that there are cardiovascular benefits to eating chocolate. But – before you go on that chocolate binge – independent experts say more research is needed to clarify the link. Eating up to 100 g of chocolate every day is associated with lowered heart disease and stroke […]

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