Grant awarded to test impact of supermarket strategies and Health Star Rating labels
A study testing the impact of New Zealand's health star ratings on packaged foods has been awarded a programme grant from the Health Research Council. The University of Auckland research, led by NIHI's Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, was one of five research projects from around the country to receive a portion of the Health Research Council's $25 million grant for long-term programmes.

Professor Ni Mhurchu's team has been collecting information on composition, labelling and ingredients of packaged foods in New Zealand for the past five years.

This study will link that information with Nielsen's household food purchasing data to look at how consumption has changed with the health star ratings and what foods industry has changed to provide a better diet.

She said there had been an increasing preference by government for non-regulatory approaches to improve diet but there wasn't a lot of evidence that voluntary strategies were effective.

"With this research, we'll be able to inform the debate very effectively."

With a team of leading nutrition researchers from New Zealand and Australia, Ni Mhurchu will also look at strategies to support healthier diets across four different domains: at an individual level, government level, food industry level and public health level. to test impact of supermarket strategies and Health Star Rating labels