Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

BSc (Hons), PhD


Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu leads a Population Nutrition Research Programme at the National Institute for Health Innovation. She trained in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Trinity College Dublin and worked as a Clinical Dietitian in the UK before doing her PhD in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Southampton. Her research programme evaluates population dietary interventions and policies, such as food taxes/subsidies, front-of-pack nutrition labels, scalable healthier food choice interventions, and product reformulation. Her studies use a range of information technologies to deliver or evaluate interventions including smartphone apps, household food purchase scanner data, and automated wearable cameras. Cliona serves on a number of national and international advisory committees including Food Standards Australia New Zealand Social Sciences & Economics Advisory Group, and the New Zealand Health Star Rating Labelling Advisory Group. She is author of more than 180 peer-reviewed journal papers, Director of the HRC-funded "Dietary Interventions: Evidence & Translation" Programme (DIET), and Deputy Director of the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.

Research | Current

Research interests

  • Public health nutrition
  • Dietary interventions
  • Food policy
  • Nutrition labelling
  • Food taxes/subsidies
  • Food composition and reformulation
  • Nutrient profiling
  • Dietary salt reduction

Teaching | Current

Guest lectures for:

DIETETIC 704 - Professional Skills 1

DIETETIC 705 - Professional Skills 2

POPHLTH 305 - Community Nutrition

POPHLTH 765 - Nutrition Interventions in Public Health

Postgraduate supervision

PhD, MPH, MHSc thesis supervision



International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity e- and mHealth 2017 publication award


NEXT Magazine Woman of the Year Award - Health & Science Finalist


Adjunct Assoc Professor, School of Public Health, Peking University, China


Senior Fellowship, Heart Foundation of New Zealand


International Research Team Development Award, University of Auckland


Research Fellowship, Heart Foundation of New Zealand


Young Investigator Award, 9th European Stroke Conference


Research Award, British Dietetic Association


Research & Development Studentship, South West Regional Health Authority, UK


Deputy Director and Science Leadership Team member, Healthier Lives He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge

Director, Dietary Interventions: Evidence &Translation (DIET), HRC 5-year research programme

Programme Leader Nutrition, National Institute for Health Innovation

Areas of expertise

Public health nutrition, randomised controlled trials, food policy

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2016 - current, National District Health Board Healthy Food Policy nutrient criteria working group

2015, Ministry of Health Childhood Obesity Technical Advisory Group

2013, Health Promotion Agency Nutrition & Physical Activity Advisory Group

2012 - current, New Zealand Health Star Rating Labelling Advisory Group

2011 - current, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Sciences & Economics Advisory Group

2010 - 2013, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Consumer & Public Health Dialogue

2006 - current, Heart Foundation of New Zealand Food & Nutrition Working Group

2006, Ministry of Health 2008/09 NZ Adult National Nutrition Survey External Technical Group

2006, Ministry of Health Food & Beverage Classification System for Schools Stakeholders Advisory Group

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Waterlander, W., Jiang, Y., Steenhuis, I., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2015). Using a 3D virtual supermarket to measure food purchase behavior: A validation study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17 (4).10.2196/jmir.3774
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang
  • Gemming, L., Rush, E., Maddison, R., Doherty, A., Gant, N., Utter, J., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2015). Wearable cameras can reduce dietary under-reporting: Doubly labelled water validation of a camera-assisted 24 h recall. British Journal of Nutrition, 113 (2), 284-291. 10.1017/S0007114514003602
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Utter, Nicholas Gant
  • Ni Mhurchu, C., Eyles, H., Genc, M., Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., Mizdrak, A., ... Blakely, T. (2015). Effects of health-related food taxes and subsidies on mortality from diet-related disease in New Zealand: An econometric-epidemiologic modelling study. PLoS One, 10 (7)10.1371/journal.pone.0128477
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Helen Eyles
  • Ni Mhurchu, C., Whittaker, R., McRobbie, H., Ball, K., Crawford, D., Michie, J., ... Myers, K. (2014). Feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of a mobile health (mHealth) weight management programme for New Zealand adults. BMC Obesity, 1, 10-10. 10.1186/2052-9538-1-10
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang, Ralph Maddison
  • Gemming, L., Jiang, Y., Swinburn, B., Utter, J., & Mhurchu, C. N. (2014). Under-reporting remains a key limitation of self-reported dietary intake: an analysis of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Eur J Clin Nutr, 68 (2), 259-264. 10.1038/ejcn.2013.242
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang, Boyd Swinburn
  • Ni Mhurchu, C., Vandevijvere, S., Waterlander, W., Thornton, L. E., Kelly, B., Cameron, A. J., ... INFORMAS (2013). Monitoring the availability of healthy and unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages in community and consumer retail food environments globally. Obes Rev, 14 Suppl 1, 108-119. 10.1111/obr.12080
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Boyd Swinburn, Stefanie Vandevijvere
  • Eyles, H., Ni Mhurchu, C., Nghiem, N., & Blakely, T. (2012). Food pricing strategies, population diets, and non-communicable disease: a systematic review of simulation studies. PLoS Med, 9 (12)10.1371/journal.pmed.1001353
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Helen Eyles
  • Maddison, R., Foley, L., Ni Mhurchu, C., Jiang, Y., Jull, A., Prapavessis, H., ... Rodgers, A. (2011). Effects of active video games on body composition: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 94 (1), 156-163. 10.3945/ajcn.110.009142
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang, Ralph Maddison, Andrew Jull


Contact details

Primary office location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
Level 4, Room 488
New Zealand

Web links