Professor Boyd Anthony Swinburn



Boyd Swinburn is Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health in the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. He trained as an endocrinologist but is now a public health physician and conducts research on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, the ‘obesogenic’ food environment.

He is Co-Chair of World Obesity's Policy & Prevention section and Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Obesity. He established the World Health Organisation's first Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, at Deakin University in Melbourne and has also contributed to over 30 WHO consultations and reports on obesity.  He leads an international network (INFORMAS) in over 30 countries to monitor and benchmark the healthiness of food environments and the implementation of food policies and actions to reduce obesity.

Research | Current

Key papers

Swinburn B, et al. Strengthening of accountability systems to create healthy food environments and reduce global obesity. The Lancet. 2015; 385(9986):2534-2545. View paper

Swinburn B et al. INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity / non-communicable diseases Research., Monitoring and Action support): overview and key principles. Obes Rev. 2013; 14(S1):1-12. View paper

Swinburn BA et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. The Lancet 2011; 378:804-814. View paper


Alfred Deakin Professor, Deakin University, 2009-2018

Patron and Honorary Fellow, Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, 2017-

George Salmond Oration, 206

Sax Oration, 2009

Founding director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, 2003-2014


Chair, Board of Research, School of Population Health, University of Auckland 2014-

World Obesity Federation, Policy & Prevention Section Co-chair 2009-

Lancet Commission on Obesity, Co-Chair, 2016-

Health Coalition Aotearoa, interim chair, 2018-

Areas of expertise

Research interests include: prevention of childhood obesity; community-based interventions and food polices to reduce obesity and non-communicable diseases; monitoring and accountability systems for improving the healthiness of food environments and reducing obesity.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Royal Australasian College of Physicians Obesity Working Group, chair, 2016-2018

International Network for Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS), founder, 2013-

Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity, External Advisory Board for National Institutes of Health, Chair 2013-2017

Austalian Institute of Health and Welfare Obesity Expert Group, 2018-

Global Program Evaluation, Expert Advisory Committee, 2016-

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, Advisory Board, 2015-

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Khandpur, N., Swinburn, B., & Monteiro, C. A. (2018). Nutrient-Based Warning Labels May Help in the Pursuit of Healthy Diets. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 26 (11), 1670-1671. 10.1002/oby.22318
  • Ralston, J., Brinsden, H., Buse, K., Candeias, V., Caterson, I., Hassell, T., ... Patton, I. (2018). Time for a new obesity narrative. Lancet (London, England), 392 (10156), 1384-1386. 10.1016/s0140-6736(18)32537-6
  • Mahesh, R., Vandevijvere, S., Dominick, C., & Swinburn, B. (2018). Relative contributions of recommended food environment policies to improve population nutrition: results from a Delphi study with international food policy experts. Public health nutrition, 21 (11), 2142-2148. 10.1017/s1368980018001076
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stefanie Vandevijvere
  • Vandevijvere, S., Waterlander, W., Molloy, J., Nattrass, H., & Swinburn, B. (2018). Towards healthier supermarkets: a national study of in-store food availability, prominence and promotions in New Zealand. European journal of clinical nutrition, 72 (7), 971-978. 10.1038/s41430-017-0078-6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stefanie Vandevijvere
  • Mackay, S., Buch, T., Vandevijvere, S., Goodwin, R., Korohina, E., Funaki-Tahifote, M., ... Swinburn, B. (2018). Cost and Affordability of Diets Modelled on Current Eating Patterns and on Dietary Guidelines, for New Zealand Total Population, Māori and Pacific Households. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15 (6).10.3390/ijerph15061255
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sally Mackay, Arier Lee, Stefanie Vandevijvere
  • Korn, A. R., Hennessy, E., Hammond, R. A., Allender, S., Gillman, M. W., Kasman, M., ... Pachucki, M. C. (2018). Development and testing of a novel survey to assess Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion of childhood obesity prevention efforts. BMC public health, 18 (1)10.1186/s12889-018-5588-1
  • Crino, M., Sacks, G., Dunford, E., Trieu, K., Webster, J., Vandevijvere, S., ... Neal, B. (2018). Measuring the Healthiness of the Packaged Food Supply in Australia. Nutrients, 10 (6).10.3390/nu10060702
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stefanie Vandevijvere
  • Strugnell, C., Orellana, L., Hayward, J., Millar, L., Swinburn, B., & Allender, S. (2018). Active (Opt-In) Consent Underestimates Mean BMI-z and the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Compared to Passive (Opt-Out) Consent. Evidence from the Healthy Together Victoria and Childhood Obesity Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15 (4).10.3390/ijerph15040747

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1078
New Zealand

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