Explorer Grant (2016 funding round)

Dr Wilma Waterlander
The University of Auckland
Nutrition 2.0: Toward a food systems approach for public health nutrition
$150,000
24 months

Lay summary

Unhealthy diets are a key contributor to mortality in New Zealand and we are in high need for workable solutions to improve population diets. However, food is not just about health. In fact, the New Zealand food system is the major contributor to the economy. This system is driven by concepts of consumption-based growth (e.g., selling as much food as possible) and health forms no integral part of the system. Nevertheless, public health research often solely focuses on health aspects of food without really considering how these fit in the wider society or food system. The proposed research aims to transform the public health nutrition discipline by moving towards system science and integrating critical social sciences, political economy and public health as a way forward. It takes a participatory action approach and involves different stakeholders including farmers and food processing sectors that can help understand the system by changing it.

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