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Improving the healthiness of the foods in Australian supermarkets
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Improving the healthiness of the foods in Australian supermarkets

Dr Helen Trevena, Institution: University of Sydney

2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2020


The overall aim of the research is to better understand how supermarkets can use their power to increase the availability, affordability and acceptability of healthier food in a supermarket. Two studies are planned to achieve this aim. One study will evaluate the evidence for the effect of supermarket private standards on the food supply. A second study will consider whether providing nutritional data to a supermarket can change the healthiness of their food own brand or ‘private-label’ products. The results will fill an evidence gap and inform Australian policies to enhance the nutritional quality of packaged foods. Increasing the nutritional quality of packaged foods by reducing the levels of salt, sugar and fat in these foods is a critical step in reducing preventable diet-related disease of which coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure are the most common types of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Given that 1 in 5 Australian adults had CVD in 2011 reducing the levels of salt, sugar and fat in commonly eaten packaged foods is one way of improving cardiovascular health for many people. The actions of a very small number of supermarkets to lower added salt, fats and sugars in their packaged foods will be of tremendous long-term benefit to the millions of Australians who shop at supermarkets everyday. Reducing the level of salt, fat and sugar in packaged foods is paramount to benefiting population cardiovascular health outcome in Australia.

This project is co-funded with NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council.

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