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Open AccessArticle

Who Are the Key Players Involved with Shaping Public Opinion and Policies on Obesity and Diabetes in New Zealand?

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Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research (EDOR) Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, 9016 Dunedin, New Zealand
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Biostatistics Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, 9016 Dunedin, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111592
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
There is an urgent need for strategic approaches to address the high prevalence of obesity and diabetes in New Zealand. Such approaches rely strongly on input from multiple actors in the diabetes and obesity policy space. We conducted a social network analysis to identify influential actors involved with shaping public opinion and/or policy regarding obesity and diabetes in New Zealand. Our analysis revealed a diverse network of 272 individuals deemed influential by their peers. These individuals represented nine professional categories, particularly academics (34%), health service providers (22%), and government representatives (17%). The network included a total of 17 identified decision-makers. Relative capacity of professional categories to access these decision-makers was highest for representatives of the food and beverage industry (25%), compared with nongovernment organisations (9%) or academics (7%). We identified six distinct brokers, in academic (n = 4), government (n = 1), and nongovernmental (n = 1) positions, who could play a key role in improving communication and networking activities among all interest groups. Such actions should ultimately establish effective networks to foster evidence-based policy development to prevent and reduce the burden of diabetes and obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: social network analysis; diabetes policy; obesity policy; policy network; public opinion; influence social network analysis; diabetes policy; obesity policy; policy network; public opinion; influence
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MDPI and ACS Style

De Bruin, W.E.; Stayner, C.; Lange, M.; Taylor, R.W. Who Are the Key Players Involved with Shaping Public Opinion and Policies on Obesity and Diabetes in New Zealand? Nutrients 2018, 10, 1592.

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