Kia ora, we are making some changes around here.

On 16th June 2022 all of our nutrition, activity and sleep tools and resources are being moved over to For fun, free and low-cost ideas to get your family eating, moving and sleeping well check out

Behind the Hype information sheets

To assist health professionals and other sector workers decipher fact from fiction, Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency is undertaking factual reviews of topical issues.  These two-page information sheets contain evidence-based advice to help you provide clear consistent information to consumers. 

Information sheets

  • Sugar

    There is widespread confusion around the different types and sources of dietary sugar. This Behind the Hype helps explain the health concerns linked to eating too much sugar, the difference between intrinsic and added sugars, and recommendations for a healthy diet.

    Nutrition supplements in pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Meeting the increased nutrition needs druing pregnancy and breastfeeding is important, however expensive supplements are often marketed to parents wanting to conceive, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Read this Behind the Hype to learn which nutrition supplements are needed, the importance of a healthy diet, and who is at an increased risk of deficiency.


    New Zealanders consume more sodium than needed. This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer questions about where salt in food comes from, why too much salt is an issue and how much salt is too much.


    Coconut oil

    There is a lot of misinformation about coconut oil. This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer the tough questions about coconut oil and explain why plant-based oils are a healthier cooking oil choice.  

    Sports drinks

    Are you confused about who needs sports drinks and when? This Behind the Hype information sheet takes the mystery out of using these beverages. You may be surprised to learn that very few people do enough exercise to need a sports drink.


    Confused about carbohydrates? This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer questions about why carbohydrates are essential for good health, what types you should be eating the most of and those you should limit. 

    High protein supplements

    Protein supplements are increasingly popular with people playing sports or working out. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains why most people involved in regular physical activity don’t require supplements.


    Want to know what sweeteners are and why they're added to food? This  Behind the Hype information sheet will take some of the mystery out of artificial and intense sweeteners. 


    Caffeine is a mild stimulant that can be either naturally occurring or added to food and drinks. This Behind the Hype information sheet will shed some light on caffeine in our diets and who should limit their intake. 

    Weight loss diets

    Many of the latest diet trends promise fast and easy weight loss. This information sheet provides a list of ‘red-flag’ diet characteristics to avoid and gives evidence-based advice on what to tell people wanting to lose weight. 

    Lite vs light claims

    Foods labelled as 'lite' or 'light' can confuse people looking for the healthier option. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains what these claims mean and how to be sure you're making the healthier choice. 
    Energy drink pic

    Energy drinks

    Some supermarkets in New Zealand have banned the sale of energy drinks to under sixteen year olds. This Behind the Hype information sheet will provide information to help you explain why energy drinks are not recommended as part of a healthy diet, particularly for children, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
    PBM pic

    Plant-based milk alternatives

    Health concerns, sustainability and changing diets are some of the reasons people are choosing plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk. This Behind the Hype information sheet provides advice and recommendations about replacing cow’s milk in the diet, particularly for young children, who have high nutrition needs.


    Some argue that butter is a healthier and more ‘natural’ choice than margarine and other table spreads. However, butter is high in saturated fats and there is evidence that this is not good for our cardiovascular health. This fact sheet explains the different types of dietary fat and gives practical advice to help make informed dietary choices.

    Milk for infants and toddlers

    Breastfeeding provides optimum nutrition for infants. However, for mums who are not breastfeeding, there may be confusion about which milk to provide to their infants and toddlers at each age and stage. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains which milks are recommended, the nutritional content of different formula milks, and drinks to avoid for this age group.

    Food and immune function

    Many people are looking for ways to strengthen their immune system. There is a widespread misconception that it is possible to boost immune function with a specific food or nutrition supplement, and this can detract from the importance of overall diet quality. This Behind the Hype fact sheet provides information and advice about diet, nutrition supplements and how best to support immune function.

    Fermented foods

    Interest in fermented foods has surged in recent years. This Behind the Hype fact sheet explains what fermented foods are, discusses health and safety aspects of eating fermented foods, and reviews the evidence for health benefits

    Low-carbohydrate high-fat diets

    There is widespread public confusion about the optimal balance of fats, carbohydrates and protein for a healthy diet. This Behind the Hype fact sheet provides information about fats and carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet. Information is also provided on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets and weight management.

    Starting solids

    Eating habits and preferences are established early. This fact sheet provides advice and information on what, when and how to introduce infants to new foods.

    Eating well during breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding provides many benefits for both mother and baby. This fact sheet provides advice for mothers who are breastfeeding.

    Supporting young children to eat well

    Eating behaviours among children are learned from food environments. This fact sheet provides advice for parents and caregivers about supporting young children to eat well.
    Getting good nutrition advice factsheet

    Getting good nutrition advice

    Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on the health, well-being, and economic status of consumers. This Behind the Hype factsheet provides information on who you can trust and where to get good nutrition advice.