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At the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (RE-FRESH), we work to transform retail food environments to improve diet and health at a population level. 

Our team is focused on high quality cross-disciplinary research and collaboration to build the evidence, methods and tools needed to accelerate the uptake of proven healthy food retail initiatives, strengthened through our solid partnerships with government and non-government organisations, community organisations and food retailers.

We are pleased to bring you our latest news…

You’re invited…
Join us for our next healthy food retail event

RE-FRESH is pleased to collaborate with the Nourish Network to bring you this free webinar sharing an international perspective on healthy food retail interventions in supermarkets to support families with young children: a Danish experience.

Join us as we showcase the work and experience of Katrine Duus – a PhD student at the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark – who is being hosted by RE-FRESH for three months to observe and share knowledge.

This will be followed by reflections on the comparative Australian experience from world-leading Australian healthy food retail researchers and RE-FRESH members A/Prof. Julie Brimblecombe and Dr Megan Ferguson.




WATCH NOW: Healthy Retail Toolkit webinar 

A recording of this week’s RE-FRESH/Nourish Network webinar launching the ‘Healthy Retail Toolkit’ is now available.

This new resource supports hospitality operators in food outlets to implement the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines. It was co-developed by a multi-sector/multi-disciplinary team which included retailers, researchers and industry professionals. This webinar features panellists drawn from this team, sharing how and why they created the Toolkit — and the Victorian Department of health-funded research that informed the Toolkit’s final iteration.

The webinar also explores the next steps for the Toolkit and its upcoming adaption by Health + Wellbeing Queensland.



Knowledge Exchange funding awarded

Four RE-FRESH researchers will be taking to the skies nationally and internationally on trips aimed at supporting their career development, under a special ‘Knowledge Exchnage’ funding program made available to the centre’s early and mid-career researchers.

Congratulations to:

  • Postdoctoral Resarch Fellow Dr Tari Forrester Bowling and Senior Research Fellow Dr Miranda Blake who will spend time sharing and collaborating with their Amsterdam UMC counterparts before co-presenting a workshop at the International Congress on Public Health in Rome in early May.
  • Bettina Backman, who is about to begin her PhD, and will deliver her first in-person conference presentation at the Public Health Association of Australia Preventive Health Conference 2023 in Adelaide in September, on a study she has led on Food classification guidelines across Australia – concordance and implications of differences.
  • Associate Research Fellow Jasmine Chan who will travel to Canada to collaborate with researchers at Laval University on two RE-FRESH projects: benchmarking the nutrition policies of prominent Australian and Canadian food companies, and retailer reporting on nutrition.



RE-FRESH researcher Dr Emma McMahon

‘IN PROFILE’ Series:

In the latest article in our series looking at the “behind the scenes” stories of what drew our early-and-mid-career researchers to our team, we meet Dr Emma McMahon, a Queensland-based academic with the Menzies School of Health Research whose natural aptitude for puzzles led her (on a windy path) to research.
Emma’s latest work includes developing a data system that allows for “real time” tracking of sales data in remote outback Australian stores, helping inform evidence-based policy decisions to support community health.




A selection of new publications from our team:

1. From RE-FRESH’s A/Prof. Julie Brimblecombe, Dr Megan Ferguson, A/Prof. Catherine Mah, Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters, Dr Emma McMahon and co-authors: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health – “Implementation of a food retail intervention to reduce purchase of unhealthy food and beverages in remote Australia: a mixed-method evaluation using the consolidated framework for implementation research”.

2. From RE-FRESH’s A/Prof. Adrian Cameron, Sally Schultz (PhD candidate), Prof. Gary Sacks and co-authors: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health – “Public support for nutrition-related actions by food companies in Australia: A cross-sectional analysis of findings from the 2020 International Food Policy study”.

3. From RE-FRESH’s Prof. Gary Sacks and co-authors: Globilization and Health  – “The structure of the Canadian packaged food and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing and grocery retailing sectors through a public health lens”.

4. From RE-FRESH’s Carmen Vargas (PhD candidate), Prof. Colin Bell and Dr Jill Whelan: Advances in Public Health –  “Co-creation approach in practice: Naming a café located within a rural health service provides added value to a health strategy”.

5. From RE-FRESH’s Dr Jill Whelan and co-authors: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity – “Adoption, implementation, and sustainability of early childhood feeding, nutrition and active play interventions in real-world settings: a systematic review”.

6. From RE-FRESH’s Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan, Prof. Marj Moodie, Huong Ngoc Quynh Tran and co-authors: PLOS One – “Cost effectiveness of LiveLighter® – a mass media public education campaign for obesity prevention”.






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