Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Does the existence of a drinks policy restrict the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages for sale in council sport and recreation facilities?


Dr Sally Mackay
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Project code: MHS002

Unhealthy diets are heavily influenced by unhealthy, obesogenic environments. A national survey of the food environment was conducted in 2014-2017 by the University of Auckland. One of the modules was a survey of foods and drinks available in sport and recreation facilities provided by councils. However, the survey was time-consuming to administer. We wish to repeat aspects of the survey to monitor any changes in the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages, water and other beverages since 2017, and to see if the existence of a policy on provision of beverages influences the availability.

The project involves developing and testing a brief survey to efficiently collect data on beverage availability and type from council sport and recreation facilities using a pre-existing app (tool). A pilot survey will be conducted of facilities in Auckland to test the tool. The facilities will be selected from those surveyed in 2016. The types of beverages available would be compared to the data collected in 2016. The Auckland City Council will be contacted regarding existing policies on beverage availability within their sport and recreation facilities. After completion of the student project, the tool will be used for a larger survey of facilities in greater Auckland. A final report will discuss the development of the survey, the feasibility of using the tool and recommendations for improvement, whether availability of beverages changed and if the existence of a policy influenced the availability.