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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.
We also wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of RE-FRESH’s  journey over the past year, and to wish you all a safe, happy and healthy festive season. 




Magda’s national TV health check stars RE-FRESH

When Aussie favourite Magda Szubanski appeared on national television seeking answers to the question “Why are Australians so unhealthy?” on the three-part ABC documentary ‘Magda’s Big National Health Check’ , you may have noticed some familiar faces from our team!

A/Prof. Kathryn Backholer, Prof. Steve Allender and our Associate Investigator Jane Martin, from the Obesity Policy Coalition, all provided expert commentary about how preventing chronic disease is about more than individual discipline.

Tune into Ep. 1 for A/Prof. Backholer’s innovative research on junk food marketing to children; catch Ep. 2 for Prof. Allender’s work with the Mansfield community on healthy food uptake and Ep. 3 as Jane Martin uncovers some of the secrets lurking behind the claims on packaged foods.

It’s great to see a focus on Australians’ health at a population level, and a credit to our researchers to have been selected as expert voices for this series.



PLUS: Check out the eight short videos related to the series that have been produced for primary and secondary school classroom use, mapped to the school curriculum, with bonus exercises for student interaction. Look out again for A/Prof. Backholer and Prof. Allender!





Healthy food retail in healthcare features in podcast



RE-FRESH Director Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Peeters and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Miranda Blake have joined a group of the nation’s top researchers in being interviewed for the ‘PreventionWorks’ podcast produced by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre – sharing their expertise on efforts to drive healthy food retail in healthcare settings, plus other projects in which RE-FRESH has shown how to change the way foods and drinks are sold to make them more healthy without disavdantaging retailers.





The power of partnership: CERI



RE-FRESH is proud to be a member of The Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI), where 11 Centres of Research Excellence work in partnership with the The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre to form a powerful network of prevention researchers  – all working to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
CERI met recently to discuss achievements for the year and strategically plan for the future.





RE-FRESH + Nourish Network webinar: Watch it now



RE-FRESH was pleased to partner with the Nourish Network to deliver an in-person and online panel discussion “Exploring the value of partnership to drive meaningful change in healthy food retail”,  featuring Prof. Cliona Ni Mhurchu (RE-FRESH Chief Investigator, University of Auckland), Amy Brown (Manager of Strategic Programs, Institute for Health Transformation at Deakin University), Fiona Watson (UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office) and Dr Megan Ferguson (RE-FRESH researcher, University of Queensland) in conversation with RE-FRESH Director, Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters.
The panel discussed their experiences and learnings on the value of working in partnership, plus tips on how to empower communities to enact impactful change in healthy food retail.





Express your interest now for course return in 2023



RE-FRESH’s innovative online healthy food retail short course, run in collaboration with Monash University, will return for the third year in 2023.

This innovative one-of-a-kind short course will start on Thursday, July 27, 2023, and has been designed specifically for health promotion practitioners and policy makers, nutritionists and those engaged engaged in the complex systems change needed to improve the health of food retail environments for population health benefit. The course will run for nine weeks (or 12 weeks with microcredential) .

Now is a great time to approach your team/manager about working this expert-led course into your workplan next year.

  • To have your email added to the register to receive course updates, simply send an an email to our team at RE-FRESH.
  • Find out more about the course HERE.




New CI appointment for RE-FRESH



Congratulations to Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan (pictured above) who is now a named Chief Investigator with the RE-FRESH CRE, leading the health economics program of work. Her appointment follows the retirement of Alfred Deakin Professor Marj Moodie.




‘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 Tailane Scapin, whose public health nutrition journey began in her native Brazil, before bringing her to Australian shores where she now focuses on East Asia and the Pacific.





A selection of new publications from our team:

1. From RE-FRESH’s Moosa AlSubhi, Miranda Blake, Marj Moodie, Jaithri Ananthapavan and co-authors: Obesity Reviews – “Consumer willingness to pay for healthier food products: A systematic review.”

2.  From RE-FRESH’s Jasmine Chan, Emma McMahon, Julie Brimblecome and co-authors: British Journal of Nutrition – “Validation of the Thumbs food classification system as a tool to accurately identify the healthiness of foods.”      Plus read a news article about this work HERE.

3. From RE-FRESH’s Ella Robinson, Miranda Blake, Gary Sacks and co-authors: Globalization and Health – “Integrating nutrition and obesity prevention considerations into institutional investment decisions regarding companies: Australian investment sector perspectives”.

4.  From RE-FRESH’s Jill Whelan and co-authors: Current Nutrition Reports – “Assessing the cost of healthy and unhealthy diets: A systematic review of methods”.








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