20% tax on fizzy drinks could save the lives of about 67 Kiwis each year

A glass of colaA tax on fizzy drinks could save lives and generate millions in revenue for health programmes in New Zealand.

This is according to new research by the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), in collaboration with the University of Otago, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal this month.

The research forms part of a larger study examining the effects of a range of health-related food taxes and subsidies on population health funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Researchers estimate a 20% tax on fizzy drinks would reduce energy consumption by 0.2% or 20kJ a day and help avert or postpone about 67 deaths from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and diet-related cancers a year.

NIHI Symposium on Big Data in Healthcare blog reviews

Symposium panellists discuss value & risks of big data to patients & consumers

By Johan Strydom, Solution Architect

The NIHI Symposium on Big Data in healthcare concluded with a panel discussion featuring a number of the afternoon’s speakers. Chaired by NIHI director, Associate Professor Chris Bullen, the panel consisted of Stuart Nelson of Apelon, Brett Cowan of the Centre for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI), Richard Hamblin of the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC), National Health IT Board director Graeme Osborne and NIHI Senior Research Fellow Koray Atalag.

Questions directed to the panel focussed mainly on what world-class big data solutions look like, the fragmentation of systems and leadership, and the value, availability and risks of big data to patients and consumers.

The National Institute for Health Innovation

The National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) is a leading New Zealand research institute with a focus on prevention and management of common serious diseases and effective healthcare. We provide independent scientific evidence that supports individuals, communities, clinicians, and policy makers to 'get it right'.

With research programmes on addictions, nutrition, physical activity, heart health and health technology, NIHI undertakes research on effective delivery of healthcare, technologies to support care delivery and the prevention and management of chronic disease.

At NIHI we measure our success by our contribution to improving people's health in New Zealand and around the globe.

Published Research

Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) can deliver nicotine and mitigate tobacco withdrawal and are used by many smokers to assist quit attempts. We investigated whether e-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine patches at helping smokers to quit.

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Improving adherence using combination therapy (IMPACT): Design and protocol of a randomised controlled trial in primary care.

To assess whether a medication strategy using a fixed dose combination pill ('polypill') could improve prescribing and adherence to recommended medications, lower blood pressure and improve lipids compared with current care over 12months.

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Do enhancements to the urban built environment improve physical activity levels among socially disadvantaged populations?

There is growing recognition that the urban built environment influences physical activity at the population level, although the effects on disadvantaged groups are less well understood. Using the examples of open / green space and street connectivity, this paper explores whether enhancements to the built environment have potential for addressing physical activity-related health inequalities among Maori, Pacific and low income communities in New Zealand.

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