Pumpkins are actually a fruit not a vegetable.
Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free.
A cluster of bananas is called a hand;
a single banana is a finger.
Onion is Latin for large pearl.
Fresh fruit is a better snack than dried fruit.
The term “superfood” is a misnomer.
The stickers on apples can be eaten, too.
About 75% of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated.
A tablespoon of soy sauce can contain
up to 1,000 mg of sodium.
It is recommended that adults eat
less than 1,600 mg of sodium a day.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, and unsalted nuts
are practically sodium-free.

Nutrition Society Conference 2018: Confirmed Speakers


Dr Daniel Hikuroa

Senior Lecturer, Māori Studies, Te Wananga o Waipapa, University of Auckland
Topic: Sustainability in Aotearoa

Dan Hikuroa is Senior Lecturer, Māori Studies, Te Wananga o Waipapa, University of Auckland and a Principal Investigator for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and Te Pūnaha Matatini National Centres of Research Excellence.

From 2011 to 2016 he was the Research Director at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence

He is an established world expert on integrating indigenous knowledge and science and has undertaken many projects including co-writing the 2014 State of the Hauraki Gulf Environment Report, geothermal developments, planning river and catchment restorations, co-writing iwi environmental management plans, Independent Review Panel member of Sea-Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial planning for the Hauraki Gulf.

He is interested in the way science and mātauranga are used to realise great outcomes and solve challenges facing communities and the nation, from flax roots to policy. Dan has published on the responsibility of scientists to society and is increasingly communicating with various audiences through television, radio, documentaries, print media and social media on kaupapa ranging future of our seas, future of food, voice of the river, water and resilience to natures challenges.


Professor Rachael Taylor

Director, Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, University of Otago
Topic: Childhood Obesity Interventions

Professor Rachael Taylor is Deputy HoD of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre at the University of Otago, and the Healthy Weight theme leader of A Better Start, the National Science Challenge focused on improving health and wellbeing in New Zealand tamariki.

She leads several large randomised controlled trials investigating different approaches to obesity prevention and management in children and adults. Previous trials have ranged from interventions very early in life targeting the development of good eating and sleep behaviours to interventions in adults to determine the real-life feasibility of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in overweight adults.

Current projects include validation of 24-hour movement patterns in children, and determination of the effect of sleep deprivation on diet and eating behaviour in children.


Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland
Topic: The use of technology in nutrition research

Cliona is Professor of Population Nutrition at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a Professorial Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health, Australia. She directs a programme of research in public health nutrition and is internationally recognised for her expertise in population dietary interventions.

Key areas of interest are food pricing (food and beverage taxes), nutrition labelling, nutrient profiling, and technologies to support dietary change. Cliona has used a range of innovative technologies to deliver or evaluate dietary interventions, including smartphone apps, a virtual supermarket, scanner sales data, and automated wearable cameras.

Cliona is Director of the "Dietary Interventions: Evidence and Translation" (DIET) HRC research programme, and Deputy Director of the ‘Healthier Lives National Science Challenge’.


Emeritus Professor Lynne Daniels

School Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Institute Health Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University Technology.
Topic: The obesity prevention imperative – nutritional approaches in early life

Lynne Daniels is an academic dietitian with over 40 years of experience and a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia. She was Head of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at QUT 2012-2016.

Lynne spent the first 10 years of her career as a clinical paediatric dietitian and in 1986 completed a research masters evaluating nutritional status of children with cystic fibrosis. She then spent 18 years in an academic post in the School of Medicine at Flinders University and in 1995 completed her PhD examining the selenium status of preterm infants.

At Flinders University her primary role was co-ordinator of the nutrition and dietetic education programs. She has >145 peer reviewed publications; over 80 published abstracts from presentations in Australia and overseas since 2000. Her work has been cited >3500 times. She has secured $9.5M grant funding, including four National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

Her research interests include feeding practices in early childhood and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. She was the lead investigator of the NH and MRC-funded NOURISH project that evaluated a complementary feeding intervention to prevent childhood obesity. She was also lead investigator for the TRIM Kids project that delivered PEACH (Parenting Eating Activity Child Health), a weight management program for overweight primary school aged children and their families, to over 1200 children across Queensland. She has supervised 18 students to completion.


Associate Professor Clare Wall

Director of the MHSc Nutrition and Dietetic Programme, University of Auckland
Topic: Nutrition curriculum for health professionals - how can we spread the word?

Associate Professor Clare Wall is the Head of Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics and Academic Director of the School of Medical Sciences, at The University of Auckland.

After qualifying as a dietitian in the UK in 1984, she specialised in paediatric dietetics, working in both the UK and Australia. Since joining the University of Auckland Clare has had a major role in the development and establishment of a nutrition pathway in the BSc programme and the postgraduate programme in Nutrition and Dietetics.

She has also developed the nutrition curriculum within the Medical programme and teaches into a number of other clinical programmes including Nursing and Pharmacy. Clare is the principal advisor on the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) - Need for Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme; an initiative set up by Cambridge University (UK) to strengthen the nutrition education and competence of medical and healthcare professionals.


Dr. Bevan Erueti (Taranaki, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa)

College of Health, Massey University.
Topic: He Puna Waiora: Amplifying consciousness of Māori knowledge, movement and health systems.

Dr. Bevan Erueti (Taranaki, Te Ati Haunui-ā-Papārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is a qualified secondary school teacher specialising in the teaching of Health and Physical Education in both mainstream and bilingual environments. He has held various academic positions at Massey University and Victoria University in both teacher education, physical education, sport and health and is currently a senior lecturer and Associate Dean Māori in the College of Health at Massey University.

His current role contains a major responsibility to assist, guide and encourage Massey University’s ‘te Tiriti led’ strategy in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Māori and Pasifika. This role involves mobilizing te Tiriti o Waitangi led initiatives such as developing Māori cultural competency and change among academic staff, promoting the universities Māori academic and research agenda and most pertinently improving Māori student support structures from entry to completion.

His research primarily focusses on investigating and critiquing the integration of Māori knowledge in health, physical education and sporting contexts to inspire and guide non-Māori to reflect on current cultural praxis, and consider a transformative paradigm shift towards increasing cultural competency, responsiveness and engagement with te Ao Māori (the Māori world). He attests that if Māori can see their world reflected in society, Māori identity flourishes leading to positive outcomes and success for both Māori and non-Māori.


Professor David Rowlands

Massey University’s School of Sport, Exercise, and Nutrition

David Rowlands is Professor of Exercise Metabolism in Massey University’s School of Sport, Exercise, and Nutrition. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and in 2017 won the Gatorade Sport Science Institute (GSSI) - American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Sport Nutrition Award.

His research has been on skeletal muscle plasticity associated with metabolic health and muscle performance. Recent work has focused on the optimal carbohydrate blends for energy-hydration and protein feeding to promote skeletal muscle recovery and functional adaptation. He has led several clinical trials to study the impact of functional targeted nutritional interventions on insulin resistance in type-2 diabetes.

Tools used in his research include stable and radio isotope technologies, nuclear magnetic resonance, biochemistry, and ‘omics methodology to map nutrient ingestion, whole-body and muscle substrate metabolism to performance, insulin resistance, and health. The programme in protein, carbohydrate, and hydration attracted funding from industry and the NZ Government.

The current research trajectory forward is optimising energy provision for competition intensity, developing better methods of measurement to study the role of maximal fat metabolism in sport and metabolic health, and expanding the knowledge for the role of nutrition and exercise on skeletal muscle function in insulin resistance, mobility and healthy aging.


Michelle Gibbs

Senior Advisor, Food Science and Risk Assessment Team, Ministry for Primary Industries
Topic: Health Star Rating - A review

Michelle Gibbs is a Senior Advisor in the Food Science team at the Ministry for Primary Industries with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Otago. She has represented the New Zealand government on nutrition related issues at the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) and being a key note speaker at the World Health Organisation Technical meeting on Nutrition Labelling for Promoting Healthy Diets. Within CCNFSDU Michelle has been a key contributor to leading the review of the global standard for Follow up Formula.

Within her current role she provides science and technical advice to inform the development of nutrition related food standards and food policy. Much of this work is undertaken in collaboration with other Australian jurisdictions or organisations as many food standards are developed and regulated jointly with our Australian neighbours.

The Ministry for Primary Industries administers the Health Star Rating system in New Zealand. Michelle has been part of the team responsible for the implementation of the system and coordination of New Zealand research to inform the five year review.


Emily King (nee Dowding-Smith) (LLB/MSc)

Founder of Spira
Topic: Sustainability

Emily King (nee Dowding-Smith) (LLB/MSc) is the founder of Spira, a profit for purpose organisation cultivating change in our food system. She is recognised as one of Food Tank’s 20 global food leaders under 40 for her work.

Emily led the Sustainable Business Network’s food projects, convened the ICLEI Resilient Urban Food System Forum in Germany, and studied her master’s thesis in the urban gardens of Havana, Cuba.

Raised on a dairy farm in Taranaki and trained as an environmental lawyer, Emily’s work paves the way for New Zealand to rethink its food system for a brighter future.