Highlighted Publications


Kids’Cam: An Objective Methodology to Study the World in Which Children Live

American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2017

Effects of interpretive nutrition labels on consumer food purchases: the Starlight randomized controlled trial

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017; 105:695-704

Achieving the WHO sodium target: estimation of reductions required in the sodium content of packaged foods and other sources of dietary sodium

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016; 104:470-479


Co-design of mHealth delivered interventions: A systematic review to assess key methods and processes

Current Nutrition Reports 2016; 1-8


Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006611. DOI:

Our team has led the systematic review and metanalysis of trials in mCessation since 2009. These have shown that text messaging interventions are effective in supporting people to stop smoking. Trials in different contexts (such as low and middle income countries) and with different modalities (such as smartphone apps) are still required.

Telehealth exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in coronary heart disease: A systematic review & meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Heart. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308966


The effectiveness of mobile-health behaviour change interventions for cardiovascular disease management: A systematic review

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2015; 23 (8): 801-17. doi: 10.177/2047487315613462



Text Message and Internet Support for Coronary Heart Disease Self-Management: Results From the Text4Heart Randomized Controlled Trial

J Med Internet Res 2015;17(10):e237


The association between the activity profile and cardiovascular risk: a cross sectional study

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2015; 15 Aug pii S1440-2440 (15) 00173-5. doi: 10.1016.jsams.2015 

Effects of health-related food taxes and subsidies on mortality from diet-related disease in New Zealand: an econometric-epidemiologic modelling study

PLOS ONE 2015; 10(7): e0128477


A Mobile Phone Intervention Increases Physical Activity in People with Cardiovascular Disease: Results from the HEART Randomised Controlled Trial

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.2015; 22(6): 701-709. Doi:10.1177/2047487314535076



Using a 3D Virtual Supermarket to measure food purchase behaviour: a validation study

Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) 2015; 17(4): e107



Diabetes Text-Message Self-Management Support Program (SMS4BG): A Pilot Study

JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2015; 3(1):e32



Our team has developed a self-management support programme delivered by text messages for those with poorly controlled diabetes. The programme is based on behaviour change theory and techniques, and aims to improve motivation and self-efficacy for better control. This pilot study showed a dramatic reduction in HbA1c levels in those who provided before/after results, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants. A large national RCT is now underway.

Is cytisine at least as good as nicotine replacement therapy: Findings from a randomised non-inferiority trial

New England Journal of Medicine 2014; 371:2353-2362. 


Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction

Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2014; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub2



Exercise Counselling to Enhance Smoking Cessation Outcomes: The Fit2Quit Randomised Controlled Trial

Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2014,48(2): 194-204. DOI: 1007/s12160-114-9588-9



Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial

Lancet 2013; 382(9905): 1629-37.

Text4baby: Development and implementation of a national text messaging health information service

American Journal of Public Health 2012; 102(12):2207-13. Doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300736


Dr Whittaker spent some time in the U.S. where she led this review of text4baby – a national text message health information programme for pregnant women. This review examined the first >100,000 enrollees, and described the journey of establishing possibly the largest national text messaging health programme.


Issues in mHealth: Findings from Key Informant Interviews

Journal of Medical Internet Research 2012; 14(5): e129 (02/10/12)


While in the U.S. on a Harkness Fellowship, Dr Whittaker had the opportunity to interview key stakeholders and opinion leaders on the state of mHealth in the U.S., the barriers to broader implementation of mHealth programmes, and the likely solutions required.

A development and evaluation process for mHealth interventions: examples from New Zealand

Journal of Health Communication 2012: 17; sup1 11–21

ISSN: 1081-0730 print/1087-0415 online DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.649103


Based on their experience, our team has described a process for the development of mHealth and text messaging-based health interventions. This stresses the importance of the involvement of the target audience from the start, a theoretical basis, and consideration of how the intervention will be rolled out and implemented.

The effect of very low nicotine content cigarettes, used as an adjunct to nicotine replacement therapy, on smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial

Addiction 2012: 107 (10); 1857–1867.

MEMO: living in a positive space. Development and post-program satisfaction in a randomized controlled trial of a mobile phone intervention

JMIR 2012: 14(1); e13


Our team worked with Prof Merry’s team to develop a multimedia depression prevention programme for all adolescents. The intervention used video, cartoons and key messages – all delivered to teens via text messages – based on cognitive behavioural therapy. A large randomized trial was conducted across 15 high schools in Auckland, with the results still to be published.


A randomised controlled trial of mobile (cell) phone text messaging smoking cessation support: txt2stop

Lancet 2011; 378(9785):49-55.


Our team worked with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to deliver our world first text messaging smoking cessation intervention to 5800 trial participants in the UK. The team at LSHTM conducted a high quality RCT with very high rates of follow-up and verification of quitting. This confirmed the doubling of quit rates with the intervention compared with the control group that we had previously seen in NZ. This paper won the RCGP Paper of the Year award.


Does improved access and greater choice of nicotine replacement therapy affect smoking cessation success? Findings from a randomised controlled trial

Addiction, 2011: 106 (6): 1176-1185.



Pre-cessation nicotine replacement therapy. Pragmatic randomised trial

Addiction 2010; 105(8):1474-83.



Smoking cessation using mobile phone text messaging is as effective in Maori as non-Maori

New Zealand Medical Journal 2005;118; 1216.


This is one of the original papers on STOMP – NIHI’s seminal text message smoking cessation intervention developed by Prof Rogers (previous Director of NIHI) as the first ever trial published on a health intervention delivered solely by text message. This paper demonstrated that STOMP was as effective for Maori participants as it was for non-Maori participants in helping them to stop smoking.