Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

New Zealand

INFORMAS in New Zealand is run by Professor Boyd Swinburn and Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere.

INFORMAS will be fully implemented in New Zealand with all 9 modules as part of the first national survey of the healthiness of food environments. The New Zealand team has developed and built relationships with the majority of regional District Health Boards who are interested in mapping the healthiness of their local food environments, and we have worked with them to collect data in the regions across New Zealand.

The majority of data collection was completed during 2016, and looking ahead into 2017 our team will analyse the data, report to stakeholders and write up publications.

Acknowledgements / Funders

  • Health Research Council of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Heart Foundation
  • University of Auckland, Faculty Research Development Fund
  • Middlemore Clinical Trials Trust


photo of Boyd Swinburn

Professor Boyd Swinburn

Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health
The University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor; Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention Deakin University, Melbourne

Phone: +64 9 923 9135, mobile +64 (0)22 167 9636

Email: Professor Boyd Swinburn

photo of Stefanie Vandevijvere

Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere

Research fellow in food policy
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health

The University of Auckland

Email: Stefanie Vandevijvere

Module Status (as of 01/17) Outputs
Public Sector (Food EPI) - Outputs published
- Planning next phase
6, 7, 9
Private Sector Planning 8
Food Composition Data collection completed  
Food Labelling Data collection completed 2, 10
Food Promotion - Social media/Facebook: underway
- Sports sponsorship: data collection completed
- Magazines: data collection completed
- Internet: data collection completed
- Outdoor advertising: data collection completed
Food Prices Data collection completed  
Food Retail - In-store: data collection completed
- Sports sponsorship: data collection completed
Food Provision - Schools: data collection completed
- Early Childhood Education: data collection completed
- Hospitals: data collection completed
Food Trade & Investment Planning  


Outputs (publications, reports, conference presentations)

  1. Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B. Towards global benchmarking of food environments and policies to reduce obesity and diet-related non-conmmunicable diseases: design and methods for nation-wide surveys. BMJ Open. 2014; 4(5): e005339. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005339
  2. Devi A, Eyles H, Rayner M, Ni Mhurchu C, Swinburn B, Lonsdale-Cooper E, Vandevijvere S. Nutritional quality, labelling and promotion of breakfast cereals on the New Zealand market. Appetite. 2014; 81(1): 253-260, doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.019
  3. No E, Kelly B, Devi A, Swinburn B, Vandevijvere S. Food references and marketing in popular magazines for children and adolescents in New Zealand.  A content analysis. Appetite. 2014; 83: 75-81, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.08.013 
  4. Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B. Creating healthy food environments through global benchmarking of government nutrition policies and food industry practices. Archives of Public Health. 2014: 72:7. doi:10.1186/2049-3258-72-7
  5. Vandevijvere S, D’Souza E, Swinburn B. The potential of citizen engagement and empowerment for obesity prevention in New Zealand. NZMJ. 2014; 127(1406): 98-100. ISSN 1175-8716
  6. Swinburn, B, Dominick, CH, Vandevijvere, S. Benchmarking food environments: Experts’ Assessments of policy gaps and priorities for the New Zealand Government. Auckland: University of Auckland, 2014. ISBN 978-0-473-29309-3 (Online), ISBN 978-0-473-29283-6 (Print). Report available here
  7. Vandevijvere S, Swinburn BPilot test of the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) to increase government actions for creating healthy food environments. BMJ Open. 2015; 5(1): e006194. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006194
  8. Sacks G, Mialon M, Vandevijvere S, Trevena H, Snowdon W, Crino M, Swinburn B. Comparison of food industry policies and commitments on marketing to children and product (re)formulation in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Critical Public Health. 2015; 25(3): 299-319, doi: 10.1080/09581596.2014.946888
  9. Vandevijvere C, Dominick C, Anandita Devi, Swinburn B. The Healthy Food Environment Policy Index: Findings of an expert panel in New Zealand. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2015; 93(5): 294-302, doi: 10.2471/BLT.14.145540
  10. Al-Ani H H, Devi A, Eyles H, Swinburn B, Vandevijvere S. Nutrition and health claims on healthy and less-healthy packaged food products in New Zealand. British Journal of Nutrition. 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516002981
  11. Ni Mhurchu C, Mckenzie T, Vandevijvere S: Protecting New Zealand children from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks: a comparison of three nutrient profiling systems to classify foods. The New Zealand Medical Journal. 09/2016; 129(1441), 41-53. Article link
  12. Vandevijvere S, Sushil Z, Exeter DJ, Swinburn B. Obesogenic Retail Food Environments Around New Zealand Schools: A National Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016; doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.03.013