EquityGlobal Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition
We challenge the major obstacles that get in the way of everyone being able to purchase and consume healthy diets. Our vision of achieving health for all inspires us to innovatively work with big data and partners to drive policy solutions into the future.
Social and economic factors—like your income and where you live—are major determinants of health and can affect the types of foods and drinks that are available to you. On average, people with lower social or economic positions are more likely to experience worse health outcomes, including those from diet-related non-communicable diseases. The same applies for those living with some types of disability and those living in rural and remote areas as compared to those in urban areas.
Our research aims to reduce these health injustices by creating environments and systems where healthy foods and drinks are more accessible than unhealthy options.
Our projects focus on:
- tracking major determinants of inequalities in population diets
- streamlining methods—using big data, AI, and statistics—to monitor inequalities in population diets
- understanding people’s lived experiences of inequities in our food systems
- identifying policies that will help us create healthy and equitable systems
- including First Nations Peoples and priority community voices in policy solutions.
The impact of our work is demonstrated by our high-quality publications, media appearances, and partnerships with leading health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), VicHealth, and the Cancer Council.
Strengthening health equity in local government policy action
Everyone should have the same opportunity to live their healthiest life, yet in Australia and around the world, significant and widespread differences in health are experienced by individuals and groups. Such health inequities are caused by unfair and unjust policies, systems and structures that privilege some, while oppressing and disadvantaging others.
This report summarises and identifies key enablers that allow local governments in Victoria to strengthen their equity approach.
Food and drink prices are thought to be one of the biggest barriers to accessing healthy diets, especially for people who receive low incomes. Using automated data collection methods, we focus on developing streamlined methods to regularly track food prices and their affordability in Australia. This work has featured across multiple news outlets and been acknowledged by a Victorian Government Premier’s Award in Public Health.
ADVANCing Equity and commUnity voiceS in food policy processes (ADVANCE-US)
Multi-level and multi-sectoral policies are required to create fairer opportunities for everyone to access healthy diets. Yet, governments often struggle to meaningfully enact change. This research aims to address this gap by advocating for equitable food and social policy changes in partnership with VicHealth, local governments, and community organisations that reach people experiencing the most disadvantage. Our policy advocacy work is centered around community experiences and developing communication tools that are fit-for-purpose.