Last updated: 21 Apr, 2016

A selection of the most recent research news and events.

Vichealth-NHMRC Partnership Projects 2015

The VicHealth-NHMRC Partnership Project Grant is for organisations applying to the NHMRC who wish to have VicHealth represented as an industry partner in their full application. Three applicants have been successful in gaining support from VicHealth. These applicants will go on to apply in the next NHMRC Partnership Projects round, closing in June 2016. Each project will receive $150,000 over three years from VicHealth if successful with the NHMRC.

We received an exceptionally high standard of research proposals in the most recent grant round.

Congratulations to the following projects

A multi-component supermarket intervention to promote healthy eating in supermarkets
Dr Adrian Cameron – Deakin University

Reflexive Evidence and Systems interventions to Prevent Obesity and Non-communicable Disease (RESPOND)
Professor Steven Allender – Deakin University

Optimising health communication with young people
Professor Catherine Lombard – Monash University

The next VicHealth–NHMRC Partnership Projects Grant, in conjunction with the VicHealth–ARC Linkage grants round, opens on 18 April 2016. For updates, visit

Top reads

24-h urinary sodium excretion is associated with obesity in a cross-sectional sample of Australian schoolchildren

Grimes CA, Riddell LJ, Campbell KJ, He FJ, Nowson CA, 2016.
British Journal of Nutrition, 26: 1-9.

Fast food restaurant locations according to socioeconomic disadvantage, urban–regional locality, and schools within Victoria, Australia

Thornton LE, Lamb KE, Ball K, 
2016 SSM - Population Health, 2: 1-9

Health prevention in Australia: A report card

Moodie R, 2016

Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco in 2014

Cancer Council, 2015


Parks and Leisure Australia State Conference
4–5 May 2016

Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council Conference
12–13 May 2016
AHPA National Conference
19–22 June 2016
Western Australia
Making Cities Liveable Conference
27–28 June 2016
17th International Mental Health Conference 2016
11–12 August 2016


Woman browsing supermarket aisles

Encouraging healthy choices in supermarkets

Supermarkets are the main source of food for most Australians. A new series of intervention trials, undertaken as part of a 2015 VicHealth Innovation Research Project, is looking at creating supermarket food environments that encourage healthy eating. The project comprises three two-month controlled trials in supermarkets in regional Victoria, with fieldwork nearing completion.

Store sales data will be used to evaluate the effect of the interventions, with the researchers from Deakin University’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention also collecting data from around 900 shoppers on their perceptions of the interventions.

The collaboration between VicHealth, Deakin University, the City of Greater Bendigo and Champions IGA has been crucial to the success of the project to date. The project received the prestigious Konrad Jamrozik prize at the 2015 Australian Population Health Congress, a testament to the public health potential of this work.

Spilled salt

Victorians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to salt intake

A recent study into salt attitudes and consumption patterns has shown that less than a third of Victorian adults (28%) could correctly identify the maximum recommended daily intake for salt, 5g per day. It also showed Victorians are eating almost double the upper limit of salt recommended, despite only less than a third considering their own salt intake to exceed dietary guidelines.

Spot urine samples from 245 adults estimate the average daily intake of salt is 9.6g per day in males and 7.9g per day in females.

Commissioned by VicHealth and undertaken by Deakin University, the Victorian consumer survey of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to salt intake surveyed 2398 adults 18 to 65 years, with a third responding to parent-specific questions.

The study also found 59 per cent of participants saying it was difficult to find lower salt options eating out. Two-thirds of participants support laws that limit the amount of salt added to manufactured foods. 

Download the report

Children playing cricket

Victorian participation in organised sport

Research through the VicHealth Physical Activity Research Practice Fellowship 2011– 15 has provided a picture of participation in organised community sport in Victoria.

The research used data from over 2.6 million Victorian participant records across seven sports – Australian football, basketball, cricket, hockey, bowls, netball and tennis – and was carried out by Associate Professor Rochelle Eimes, Federation University and Victoria University, with collaboration from a range of state sporting associations, government, peak sporting organisations and universities.

The findings, covering themes including participation levels and influences on participation, have informed recommendations for state sporting associations, funders and promoters of sport participation and future research.

A new Sport Participation Research Project 2016–18 involving 11 sports has now commenced to build on the Fellowship’s findings. The project, which is a collaboration between VicHealth, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Victoria University and Federation University, aims to create and report on a reliable measure of sport participation in Victoria to further inform decision making by sport sector organisations.

Find out more