Process for developing the eating and activity guidelines

The diagram below shows the key parts of the process used to develop the new Eating and Activity Guidelines.

The concept for the Eating and Activity Guidelines Series was developed using information gathered from an independent evaluation of the Food and Nutrition Guidelines Series in 2011. The first key document in the Series, the Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults replaces the existing Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Adults (MoH 2003) and Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults (MoH and SPARC 2007).

In 2013, a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of nutrition and physical activity experts met with the Ministry to review and update the existing nutrition and activity guidelines statements. The updated Statements are based on recent international evidence used to develop dietary guidelines for Australia, the United States and the Nordic countries; and physical activity guidelines for Australia. The current Australia New Zealand Nutrient Reference Values (NHMRC 2006) also informed the Statements as did specific reports and recommendations from the World Health Organization and the World Cancer Research Fund.

The draft Eating and Activity Guideline Statements underwent limited stakeholder consultation and focus group testing with the public in 2014. The feedback was considered jointly by the Ministry and the TAG and changes to the Statements were made. A draft Eating and Activity Guidelines document was then developed around the Statements. The draft Guidelines document underwent a key stakeholder consultation which involved the TAG, the Ministry, health practitioners, non-government organisations, government agencies and the food industry. Feedback was considered and relevant changes were made to the Guidelines document as a result. The finalised Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults was published on 28 October 2015.

Evaluation Report 2011

In 2011, the existing Food and Nutrition Guidelines were evaluated to find out how they were being used by the health sector and how they could be improved.

We have used this evaluation to guide the development, distribution and promotion of the new Eating and Activity Guidelines Series.

The evaluation showed the Food and Nutrition Guidelines are valued by many health practitioners, but some changes to their development process and format would strengthen them and make them more accessible to a wider audience. The Guidelines Series contain key features that were identified as important by a wide range of health practitioners during the evaluation. This includes creating:

  • one document that has both nutrition and physical activity population health advice
  • an external advisory group to work on the guidelines
  • a more robust evidence base to support the advice.

Go to Evaluation of the Food and Nutrition Guidelines Series to find out more.

Technical Advisory Group

A Technical Advisory Group made up of nine nutrition and physical activity specialists was formed in 2013 to advise the Ministry on updating its population health guidelines.

This group gave advice on the guideline statements and the evidence on which they are based.

Members of the current EAGs Technical Advisory Group

  • Professor Jim Mann (Chair)
  • Professor Murray Skeaff
  • Dr Pamela von Hurst
  • Dr Clare Wall
  • Dr Ofa Dewes
  • Delvina Gorton
  • Dr Zirsha Wharemate
  • Dr Sandra Mandic
  • Dr Scott Duncan

Consultation on the draft guidelines

The Ministry received extensive feedback from the sector (as part of the 2011 evaluation), on what updated guidelines ideally would include, then undertook other key stakeholder consultation on the Guidelines document during the development process.

Key stakeholders included:

  • nutrition and physical activity academics
  • health practitioners including individuals, national organisations such as Dietitians NZ and colleges such as Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP)
  • Māori and Pacific public health nutrition and physical activity organisations such as Toi Tangata and the Heart Foundation's Pacific Heartbeat
  • non-government organisations such as Cancer Society and Heart Foundation
  • physical activity and fitness organisations, such as the Exercise Association of New Zealand
  • food industry groups such as Food and Grocery Council, Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, New Zealand Beef and Lamb, Fonterra and Unilever New Zealand
  • government agencies and crown entities including ACC, Ministry for Primary Industries, Sport NZ and the Health Promotion Agency
  • general public – specifically focus group testing of the Guidelines Statements included adult New Zealanders of Māori, Pacific, South Asian and New Zealand European ethnicities.
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