Nutrition sensitive policy addresses the underlying determinants of nutrition-related disease and is a powerful tool in reducing the incidence of non-communicable disease. Some members of the food industry have long standing commitments to health-oriented nutrition policies. The aim of this study was to develop and apply a balanced scorecard of nutrition sensitive indicators to the policies of influential New Zealand food and beverage manufacturers and explore factors affecting policy processes. Results: The average nutrition sensitivity score of the twenty influential manufacturers policies was 42 against a benchmark of 75. Some manufacturers performed well whilst others had substantial scope for improvement, the largest variation was in policy development and implementation, whereas nutrition quality was relatively consistent. Manufacturers with written policy (n
= 11) scored on average three times higher than their counterparts with verbal policy. The value a manufacturer placed on nutrition influenced whether formal nutrition policies were developed. The reputational risk of failing to deliver on publicly declared nutrition commitments acted as an informal accountability mechanism. We conclude the balanced scorecard offers a useful tool for assessing the nutrition sensitivity of influential food and beverage manufacturers’ policies. Our results provide a baseline for repeat assessments of the nutrition sensitivity of food manufacturers’ policies.
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