01 Apr, 2015 Last updated: 31 Jul, 2017

An innovative idea that examines the way supermarkets can encourage healthy eating habits is one of three research projects being funded by VicHealth that have the potential to generate large health gains for the people of Victoria.

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VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the three successful research initiatives in this year's VicHealth Innovation Research Grants scheme would trial fresh ideas and develop evidence to help create a Victoria where everyone can enjoy better health. 

"Our research funding is essential to providing opportunities to advance Victoria's population health by pre-empting and targeting improvements in health for everyone. These projects align with our work to prevent tobacco use, harm from alcohol, and promote healthy eating. They have the potential to help create a healthier Victoria – one where people enjoy a better quality of life with more opportunities for fulfilment and a long life," Ms Rechter added.

The three successful research initiatives are:

Creating supermarket food environments that encourage healthy eating

Dr Adrian Cameron & Dr Gary Sacks, Deakin University 

This project will examine the impact of changes to in-store supermarket marketing and promotion strategies on the healthiness of food purchased. These supermarket-based interventions will include a financial evaluation to enable assessment of the impact on the retailer and to ensure that results are highly relevant to other settings. The project builds on strong existing relationships between retail and local government partners and senior researchers from the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University. 

A mobile phone delivered intervention for reducing alcohol consumption

Dr Megan Lim – Burnet Institute

Risky drinking by young people is a significant public health issue in Australia with two-thirds (67%) of young Victorians aged 16-29 drinking at levels that put them at risk of injury from a single drinking occasion. With research showing that mobile phones and text messages have been successful in delivering health promotion messages and in engaging young people, this project will use mobile phones to deliver brief interventions to reduce alcohol consumption via SMS.

Media Contact: Helen Walsh, Senior Media Advisor, 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732 or email [email protected].