Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

BSc (Hons), PhD


Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu leads a 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 a 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, healthier food choice interventions, and food composition and reformulation. Her studies use a range of information technologies to deliver or evaluate interventions including smartphone apps, food purchase and sales scanner data, and automated wearable cameras. Cliona is a member of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Social Sciences & Economics Advisory Group and the trans-Tasman Health Star Rating Advisory Committee. She is author of more than 220 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 708 - Professional Skills 2

POPLHLTH 765 - Nutrition Interventions in Public Health

POPLHLTH 712 - Clinical Trial Design, Analysis and Management

Postgraduate supervision

PhD, MPH, MHSc, BSc (Hons) thesis supervision


2020 Best e- & mHealth 2019 publication Award, International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
2019-22 Honorary Professorial Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia
2019 Public Health & User Experience Bronze Awards, NZ Best Design Awards
2018-21 Conjoint Professor, UNSW Australia

Best e- & mHealth 2017 publication Award, International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity


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


Research Fellowship, Heart Foundation of New Zealand


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

2021 - present, New Zealand Public Health representative, Trans-Tasman Health Star Rating (HSR) Advisory Committee

2021, NHMRC Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative – 2020 Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition Grant Assessment Committee

2016, HRC Longterm Conditions Partnership Grants Steering Committee member

2016 - present, National Healthy Food & Drink Policy Network

2015, Ministry of Health Childhood Obesity Technical Advisory Group

2013, Health Promotion Agency Nutrition & Physical Activity Advisory Group

2012 - 2015, New Zealand Health Star Rating Labelling Advisory Group

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

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

2006 - 2015, 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)

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.
  • 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: 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

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1066
New Zealand

Web links