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.


    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.


    GLOBE and RE-FRESH have collaborated with Monash University to offer an online professional development short course ‘Transforming retail food environments to be health-enabling”. This course will allow participants to discover the power of marketing and retail merchandising in food environments, gain the skills and knowledge to facilitate retail practices and policies for public health and, in turn, influence consumer decision making. The course starts 27 July, and enrolment is now open: Healthy Food Retail

  • Reports

    Healthy eating in the west

    Melton follow up, March 2018

    Wyndham follow up, March 2018

    National survey on local government provision of healthy food and drink in sport and recreation facilities and obesity prevention policies and actions, April 2021

    New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

    Northern Territory


    South Australia



    Western Australia