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28th Apr 2015, 1:24pm

World Action On Salt and Health (WASH) runs World Salt Awareness Week every year which receives widespread support from many countries around the world. This important week serves to highlight the importance of reducing salt intake in all populations throughout the world, and all countries are invited to participate; be it holding an event, creating media interest or generating awareness within local communities.

This year Salt Awareness Week runs from 16th - 22nd March and will focus on Children and Salt intake, with an aim of ensuring everyone understands the importance of a healthy start for children. Like adults, children consume more salt than the maximum recommendation. Simple measures need to be implemented to help reduce salt intake and therefore reduce the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Research suggests that dietary habits in childhood and adolescence influence food choices in later life. A high salt intake in children can influence blood pressure and may predispose a child to the development of a number of diseases including: high blood pressure, osteoporosis, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.

As part of the week WASH will be encouraging the food industry to act more responsibly by reducing the amount of salt they add to children's food and to stop advertising high salt food to children. WASH will be developing public health messages, and education programmes to reinforce the message, and will be offering useful information and tips for parents and children on simple changes that can be made to make sure everyone can enjoy a low salt diet.

For more information visit World Action on Salt

28th Apr 2015, 1:21pm

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation Food Week 2014 ran from 25th - 30th May.

Food Week 2014 continued with the theme JUST COOK.  Just cook a family meal and sit down and enjoy with your family / whanau.  Our JUST COOK virtual kitchen continues to give you great ideas for economical family friendly meals using the ingredients from the JUST COOK food list. To read more about JUST COOK you can visit our website www.justcook.co.nz

We are pleased to announce the winners of the JUST COOK Create a Family Meal Challenge. Congratulations to all of our winners!

The overall winner of the competition was Anna Kelly from Havelock North Intermediate School with her Beef & Lamb NZ Challenge entry. Anna won $1000 for her school to put towards cooking equipment.

The following people all won $300

Abinav Guruprasad won the Aquaculture NZ Challenge:  Nature’s Superfoods From Our NZ Waters Challenge.

Liam Deffels Destorge, New Plymouth Boys High School won the I Love Eggs Challenge: Feed the family with Eggs.

Sinead Barrell and Stacey Allan, St Matthew’s Collegiate won Tegel Challenge:  Affordable Familu Favourites with Chicken –

Kita Ihaka, Kamo High School won Sanitarium Challenge: Plant Based Family Meals.

Anna Kelly, Havelock North Intermediate School won Beef + Lamb NZ Challenge: Meat in a Flash.

Winners of the San Remo make it with Pasta Draw won $150 prezzy

 Aidan Clark, Manurewa High School

 Annabelle Weaver & Allyx Smith, Bethlehem College

 Lauren Collyns, Wairarapa College

 Paul Kaiser, Palmerston North intermediate School

Winners of the  Wattie’s Colour your Plate with Veg Draw  won an Ipod Nano       

Year 5 Garden to Table, Meadowbank Primary School

Brie Liddle, Fairfield College

Tannah and Aaliyah, Titahi Bay Intermediate School

Active Families Programme, Sport Otago

26th Nov 2013, 12:12pm

In September NZNF Nutrition Foundation organised  Nutrition Week a new initiative focused on addressing issues currently affecting the nutritional health of all New Zealanders. Throughout the week five nutritional topics were addressed with commentary and insights on each topic being provided by well-known nutritional experts.

The five topics were:

Click the headings above to read the fact sheet for each topic.

If you have any further queries about any of these subjects please feel free to New Zealand Nutrition Foundation 

14th Oct 2013, 10:10pm

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.

The first stage of the programme runs through October and aims simply to make people aware of diabetes and get them thinking about it.

Diabetes New Zealand have produced a new pamphlet - Will you be killed by your sofa? - and website -  http://www.thedangerisreal.co.nz/. Both of these resources offer information about what Diabetes is and list ways in which New Zealanders can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

For further questions about this compaign you can contact Diabetes NZ on 04 499 7145 or email admin@diabetes.org.nz.

14th Oct 2013, 10:04pm

Food Week 2013 continued this year with the theme JUST COOK. Just cook a family meal and sit down and enjoy with your family / whanau. Our JUST COOK virtual kitchen gives you great ideas for economical family friendly meals using the ingredients from the JUST COOK food list.


As part of Food Week 2013 we ran a JUST COOK 'Create a Family Meal' Challenge for teens. We are pleased to annouce the winners of the Challenge below:

1st prize- iPod Touch and cookbooks for student, Kenwood Kitchen Machine for school (Tegel Challenge – From the Freezer to the Table)

Recipe: Chicken Balls with Miso Rice and Salad

Kizzie Amoore, Dana Herbison and Libby Harrison
Epsom Girls Grammar School

2nd Prize - iPod Touch and cookbooks for student, Kenwood Kitchen Machine for school (Sanitarium Challenge – Make it Plant Based)

Recipe: Kumara Rosti with vegetarian Beans

Amanda Holden & Bex Butler
Upper Hutt College


Beef + Lamb New Zealand Challenge  - Meat in a Flash – iPod Touch + cookbooks

Recipe: Mini Meatballs in a baked bean sauce with leafy green salad and crusty bread

Lotte Hart

I Love Eggs Challenge – Make Eggs the Hero – iPod Touch + cookbooks

Recipe: Mexican Scrambled Egg Tortilla with Salad

Bailey Day and Hayden Collier
New Pymouth Boys High School


The five iPod Nanos from the Watties Add Colour to your Plate draw went to;

Mikayla Wepa and Julianna Peters – John Paul College, Rotorua

Max Young – Northshore

Ruth Bateson – Hamilton

Lucia Boyes–Piggott – Motueka

Sarah Rowe – Napier Girls High School

14th Oct 2013, 10:01pm

Media Release: University of Otago media release, 8 August 2013

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.

Key findings include:

  • Cancers and cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke) each contribute 17.5% of the health loss, followed by mental disorders (11%), musculoskeletal disorders (9%) and injury (8%).
  • Males have a 13% higher rate of health loss than females – but it differs for fatal conditions (much higher for males) and morbidity (higher for females).
  • M?ori had about a 75% higher rate of health loss than non-M?ori

The main metric used in the study is disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a composite measure of mortality and morbidity that measures how far our population falls short of ‘ideal’ health. Comparisons can then be made between types of people, diseases and over time.

Professor Blakely says the study is not strictly comparable to a previous Ministry study for 1996.

“But we know from many other statistics – including the recent Global Burden of Disease study – that health status is steadily improving in countries like New Zealand.

“Furthermore the cardiovascular disease burden is falling in its relative contribution, while cancers and neurodegenerative diseases like dementia are rising in their relative contribution.

That is, although life expectancy keeps rising, the mix of diseases and conditions that are causing health loss in New Zealand is changing over time.”

A particularly useful part of the current Ministry study are the calculations of how much of the health loss burden (in DALYs) is due to different risk factors, Professor Blakely says.

“This gives us information about how much health gain we as a society might achieve through ‘ideal and complete’ action on modifiable risk factors.”

Figure 1: Attributable burden (percentage of DALYs) for selected risk factors, 2006 (Source: Ministry of Health (2013), Health Loss in New Zealand)

Health Risk Factors 2006


Not surprisingly, tobacco smoking stands out. Nearly a tenth (9.1%) of all health loss in 2006 – mainly early deaths – could be avoided if nobody had ever smoked.

“Achieving the Government’s smokefree nation 2025 goal therefore remains an overwhelming policy priority for improving the overall health of New Zealanders, and reducing inequalities in health, especially between Maori and non-Maori; and low-income versus high-income Kiwis,” Professor Blakely says.

Moreover, dietary risk factors combined, including high salt intake, high saturated fat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, and excess energy intake, accounted for 11.4% of the health loss in 2006 – more than tobacco, he says.

University of Otago, Wellington’s Associate Professor Nick Wilson says improving the nutritional environment for New Zealanders should therefore be a high priority for the Government.

“Fortunately, this can be done in ways that might also save health costs such as by taxing sugar in soft drinks and regulations that limit maximum salt levels in high-salt processed foods,” Professor Wilson says.

Such smart food taxes and regulations around salt are increasingly being used in European and other countries eg, France, Finland, Hungary and Denmark.


4th Apr 2012, 10:40am

Food Week 2012 is coming.  We've looked at all our activities from 2011, asked participants what they thought and come up with a programme that uses the best of 2011 Food Week along with some new ideas.  The focus is still on JUST COOKing a delicious family meal and how to do this quickly, cheaply day after day. Our Create-a-family-meal challenge has been simplified to make it easier to enter, now you just have to send a recipe and photo for the chance to win yourself an iPod Touch and some Kenwood kitchen equipment for your classroom.  The competition is open to intermediate and secondary students.  You can find out more about the competition by visiting http://www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz and clicking on the Food Week section.

We're also doing some cooking demonstrations in various town centres.  Keep checking our facebook page for details, http://www.facebook.com/justcooknz.

The JUST COOK interactive kitchen is being improved to make it even easier to use too.  We'll be posting updates on progress on facebook so keep checking.

If you'd like to talk to us about Food Week you can email sarah@nutritionfoundation.org.nz or give us a call 09 4893417.



13th Apr 2011, 1:17pm

Food Week is a new initaitive from the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation with the theme this year of JUST COOK.  The purpose of Food Week is to encourage home cooking and the swapping of ideas.  As part of this, the JUST COOK competition and teaching unit aims to encourage groups of year 10 students to put forward their meal ideas in a fun, informative way that will stimulate discussion.  The teaching unit has been prepared and reviewed by HETTANZ (Home Economics and Technology Teachers Association of NZ) members.  We have some great prizes for the winning students and their teachers. 
For the teachers:  Kenwood Major Titanium Kitchen Machine
                           Kenwood Multi Pro Excel Food Processor
                           Kenwood Triblade Hand Blender
                           Panasonic Inverter Microwave
For the students:  Sunbeam Appliances
                           Cook Books 
                           Grocery Vouchers
                           iPod Shuffles
While the teaching unit ties in with the year 10 curriculum and supports the competition, we appreciate you may already have plans in place than mean you cannot devote 4-6 weeks to the unit right now.  You can enter the competition without completing the teaching unit.  Please encourage your classes to enter the competition, we really want their ideas and for them to show others the great variety of home cooked meals they do eat and enjoy.  Entry details are on the competition details form - upload a video and email the entry form back to sarah@nutritionfoundation.org.nz
As this is the first year of Food Week we are very keen to hear from you.  We want to keep building and improving the programme over the coming years.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, suggestions or ideas.
One last point, the JUST COOK facebook page and web page go live at the end of this month, until they are live there is no where to upload videos to!
For a copy of the teaching unit and competiton details please contact Sarah Hanrahan sarah@nutiritonfoundation.org.nz

13th Apr 2011, 11:12am

We want to know what meals your family enjoy.  If you like them chances are others will too.  Send us the recipe (or recipes) for your family favourites.  We'll put the recipes up on our new Facebook page, to be launched at the end of April, so other family cooks can see your ideas.  

Your recipe could also win you a night off the cooking.  We'll draw one name to win a night for two at a luxury Heritage Hotel of your choice including a $100 room credit(Some conditions apply) To see a fabulous Heritage Hotel near you go to  www.heritagehotels.co.nz/ .   

Terms and conditions:
Excludes Rutherford Nelson, Carrington Resort and Heritage Boutique Collection. Some close outs may apply. Prize not exchangeable for cash. Transport to the hotel not included. Winner must be over 18 years of age with a valid credit card to guarantee other incidentals.

To enter just send your recipe to sarah@nutritionfoundation.org.nz.


For more information please contact: Sarah Hanrahan, New Zealand Nutrition Foundation - sarah@nutritionfoundation.org.nz



16th Mar 2011, 2:23pm

Food Week is a new initiative from the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. The inaugural Food Week was held in May 2011 with theme JUST COOK.  Food Week 2012 continues this them and will be held on May 7-13.

JUST COOK was chosen after evaluating research from the Health Sponsorship Council looking at the lifestyle and eating habits of New Zealanders. Their research shows there are a significant number of families, across all demographics, not regularly eating a home cooked meal during the week. Our focus is to encourage this group to prepare and eat more meals at home. Just cooking is a good thing – maybe from that you eat a meal together or have one more vegetable than you would otherwise have had.
In support of JUST COOK, the Health Sponsorship has just completed research on this topic. The results of this research are informing the planning of JUST COOK. One of the key findings was this group wanted more ideas on how to make their ingredients stretch further at minimal risk. They were willing to try new meals based on ingredients they already used and also use a few new ingredients at any one time, as long as the meal wasn’t wasted. Essentially they wanted to know the kids would eat a meal before they would stick their neck out and try something new.
Activities will centre on raising awareness of the basic pantry (includes food cupboard and fridge / freezer) and meals that can be created using these foods plus others purchased as needed.
Check out our facebook page with its interactive cupboard – click on pictures of the foods you have and get meal ideas and recipes for cheap, quick, tasty family meals.
For more information please contact;
Sarah Hanrahan
ph: 09 489 3417 / 021 1185231


31st Mar 2010, 9:17am

eMark celebrates an important milestone this month with the first appearance of the eMark on supermarket shelves. Harraways, a New Zealand company manufacturing oats and porridge is the first company to adopt the eMark as a front of pack label. eMark is an ideal vehicle to promote the health benefits of Harraways cereals. As breakfast foods, oats and oat cereals are a great choice as most provide slow or medium energy release and are low in energy density. Over the next few months we will be advertising eMark in conjunction with Harraways.

For more information, some great ideas and recipes visit www.harraways.co.nz

7th Oct 2009, 5:06pm

Credible nutrition information promotes good health

Optimum nutrition is a fundamental part of good health. But knowing what to eat, how and when can be hard without access to the right information. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation’s new website, www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz/, provides scientifically-accurate, easily-accessible information on food and nutrition, helping all New Zealanders towards a healthy, balanced diet.

The website gives up-to-date facts on all you need to know about ‘everything nutrition’; energy to food safety, minerals to glycaemic index. Based on national and international food and nutrition guidelines, it provides practical ideas and tips for all ages and stages.

The Foundation is New Zealand’s leading independent food and nutrition organisation. Everything on the website is written by qualified nutritionists and checked for scientific accuracy by the Foundation’s expert Scientific Advisory Group.

“Nutrition is an area where misinformation and confusion is common. Our new website gives New Zealanders confidence to make the right food choices as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Sue Pollard, New Zealand Nutrition Foundation CEO.

For further information contact Carolyn Cairncross at 09 489 3417 or 021 292 6646

20th Dec 2008, 9:17am

Plant & Food Research’s laboratory test for digestibility of starch in foods is being made available to food manufacturers in early 2009.

“This new test puts New Zealand food manufacturers well ahead of the competition in their ability to measure and manipulate starch digestibility of foods. This test has been the workhorse of the Lifestyle Foods programme, and now it is being made available to the New Zealand food industry” said Dr Tim Lindley, business manager for the Lifestyle Foods programme.

The test was developed by Dr John Monro, of Plant & Food Research’s Palmerston North based Nutrition & Health Group, and measures the amount of rapidly digested starch, slowly digested starch, and resistant starch in a food sample.

The rapidly digested starch measurement enables calculation of glycaemic glucose equivalents, and hence glycaemic load, in a way that has significantly greater precision than using clinical measurements, and is much more affordable. The experience gained in doing well over a thousand of these tests to help Lifestyle Foods programme research teams identify new plant varieties, test new food ingredients, and develop new food structures with improved starch digestibility profiles, gives confidence that the test will be a useful tool for the food industry.

While rapidly digested starch is linked to the food’s glycaemic load, the slowly digested starch gives information about the ability of the food to deliver sustained energy supply for two hours after eating, and resistant starch indicates potential for gut health benefits.

The first industry application of the test will be to characterise the starch digestibility profiles of around 500 foods for assigning e-marks for rate of energy release. The test has also been used by the team working on the Aspire diet project, to develop a healthy muesli formulation and to compare the energy release properties of different types of breads.

Plant & Food Research (the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research) began business on 1 December 2008, as the result of a merger between Crop & Food Research and HortResearch.