Cristina Cleghorn

Steering Group

Dr Cristina Cleghorn works in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago in Wellington.

Cristina is a Public Health Nutrition Researcher with a strong interest in sustainable nutrition and the prevention of chronic disease through diet, physical activity and tobacco control. In her current role as a senior research fellow in the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE³), Cristina is working on the modelling of burden of disease, intervention effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of dietary interventions in the New Zealand population. She leads a Healthier Lives funded project on assessing the health and environmental benefits of sustainable NZ diets.

She has supervised a BMedSci student, Jono Drew, on his thesis entitled “Healthy and Sustainable Eating Patterns for New Zealand”. This work now allows for the quantification of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with dietary consumption of New Zealanders and can be used to measure the impact on emissions of various dietary interventions.

She completed her PhD investigating the relationships between agrobiodiversity, dietary diversity and nutritional status in Tanzania.


  • Public health nutrition
  • Sustainable diets


Relevant publications and conference presentations:

  1. Drew J, Cleghorn C, Macmillan A, Mizdrak A. (2020). Healthy and Climate-Friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context. Environ Health Persp, 128(1), p.017007.
  2. Mizdrak A, Blakely T, Cleghorn CL, Cobiac LJ. (2019). Potential of active transport to improve health, reduce healthcare costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: A modelling study. PloS one. Jul 17;14(7):e0219316.
  3. Wilson N, Cleghorn CL, Cobiac LJ, Mizdrak A, Nghiem N. (2019) Achieving healthy and sustainable diets: A review of the results of recent mathematical optimization studies. Adv Nutr. 10(Suppl 4):S389-S403.
  4. Cleghorn C, (with Wilson N, Cobiac L, Mizdrak A, Nghiem N). Achieving healthy and sustainable diets: A review of recent studies using optimisation modelling [Oral presentation] International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference. Rotorua, 7-11 April 2019.
  5. Waterlander WE, Mhurchu CN, Eyles H, Vandevijvere S, Cleghorn C, Scarborough P, Swinburn B, Seidell J. (2018). Food futures: developing effective food systems interventions to improve public health nutrition. Agr syst. Feb 1;160:124-31.
  6. Cleghorn CL, Wilson N. The benefits of constraining processed meat and red meat consumption in New Zealand: a public health perspective. N Z Med J, 129 (1445):115-121, 2016.
  7. Cleghorn, CL., Dahly, DL., Sallu, S., & Cade, JE. Household farm agrobiodiversity and annual crop variety scores and their relationships with dietary diversity and nutritional status in children in two villages in rural Tanzania. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Otago International Health Research Network (OIHRN) Conference, (pp. 3-4), 2014.