Food environments

Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

Food environments are dominated by unhealthy foods that are readily available and heavily promoted. These environments are a major driver of unhealthy population diets and high levels of obesity that are among the biggest contributors to poor health. Our research focuses on policies and practices that can lead to healthier food environments.

Food environments are shaped by both commercial priorities and government policy. Our research targets both, with the aim of using research evidence to encourage healthier and more environmentally sustainable food environments. Key programs of work include:

  • monitoring and benchmarking the healthiness of food environments
  • understanding the policies and processes that shape food environments
  • using research evidence to inform and improve the public policy response to unhealthy diets
  • ensuring that governments and food companies are accountable for their policies and practices
  • implementing and evaluating interventions in retail settings to encourage healthy eating.

We are committed to ensuring that our research findings are communicated widely and are used to inform policy and practice. We regularly contribute to World Health Organization (WHO) reports and consultations on obesity prevention. We also partner closely with the Obesity Policy Coalition and other public health organisations.

  • Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard

    The first of its kind, Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard gathers the best-available and most up-to-date data to describe the healthiness of Australia’s food environments. The dashboard covers the key aspects of food environments, including data on food composition, food labelling, food prices and affordability, food promotion, food retail, and government and food company policies.

  • RE-FRESH

    GLOBE is the home of RE-FRESH, a NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) that is the first international centre for healthy food retail research, policy, and practice. RE-FRESH is a collaboration of more than 50 researchers from multiple disciplines with a common aim of transforming retail food environments to improve diet and health at a population level.