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 2019 Speakers TBC


Associate Professor Miranda Mirosa

Consumer Food Scientist, Department of Food Science at the University of Otago
Topic: Food Waste

Associate Professor Miranda Mirosa is a Consumer Food Scientist with a background in agri-food marketing and consumer behaviour.

She conducts consumer insights and strategic marketing communications-type work for the NZ food and beverage industry. She is most passionate about her work on waste.

Miranda has represented NZ on the committee of a multi-year APEC project “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses”. She also was awarded a “Postharvest Loss and Food Waste Research Fellowship” funded by MPI/MBIE, to enhance business-research-government partnerships in NZ and China through commercially meaningful research.

Miranda has recently served as the Specialist Advisor to Parliament’s Environmental Select Committee’s National Briefing on Food Waste.


Associate Professor Anne-Louise Heath

Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago
Topic: Dietary interventions

Anne-Louise is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her areas of research interest are infant nutrition, iron nutrition, and the use of food-based strategies to improve nutritional status and health.

Anne-Louise is also Co-Principal Investigator for the Health Research Council funded First Foods New Zealand study investigating the impact of baby food pouches and baby-led weaning on iron deficiency, growth, choking and dental health in infants; and an Investigator for the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) study - a large randomised controlled trial of the effects of infant diet and sleep on growth.

Recent projects include; the Baby-Led Introduction to SolidS (BLISS) study investigating the benefits and possible risks of a baby-led approach to complementary feeding (a modified version of Baby-Led Weaning).

Along with "A Good Night's Sleep" investigating the influence of alterations in the gut microbiota on infant sleep, and the Toddler Food Study investigating the efficacy of dietary interventions for preventing the development of iron and other micronutrient deficiencies in toddlers.


Sue Pirrit

Pacific Heartbeat
Topic: Cultural Competency

Sue Pirrit is a New Zealand Registered Nutritionist who completed her Master of Human Nutrition at the University of London in 1993, after working for some years as a Radiographer, but having a passion for good health through nutrition.

Sue joined the Pacific Heartbeat (PHB) team in 2011 and her main role with the team is as the team nutritionist. This involves facilitating alongside the PHB nutrition trainers in their nutrition courses, as well supporting course graduates, developing resources and media work.

She recently completed her Master of Public Health programme at Auckland University, focussing her interest on Health Promotion through food and body literacy.


Takui Langi

Pacific Heartbeat
Topic: Cultural Competency

A Tongan mother of 5 adult boys and grandmother of 9 grandchildren.

She’s got 20 years of high school teaching experience in Tonga before moving to New Zealand in January 2000.

She is currently a Nutrition Trainer at Pacific Heartbeat of the Heart Foundation and has been in that role for almost 18 years now.

Her passion is to make a difference in the health of Pacific people in New Zealand especially in the area of nutrition.


Kate Berridge

RNcP, BHSc, MN (Hons) founder and director of Beyond Obesity
Topic: Weight Stigma

Beyond aims to reframe the way obesity is viewed, and in particular, how it intersects with health and healthcare.

Through her Master’s, research and clinical practice she has developed a deep perception of how weight related stigma and bias impacts physical and mental health.

Obesity is not the choice it is assumed to be, and self-care is not intuitive in our current obesogenic environment.

Her workshops and presentations provide the fundamentals of how to develop self-care strategies for patients and providers alike.


Jeremy Hill

Chief Science and Technology Officer Fonterra Cooperative Group and Professor, Sustainable Nutrition, Riddet Institute, Massey University
Topic: Sustainable Nutrition (TBC)

Jeremy has worked for Fonterra and its predecessor companies for over 30 years, the last 12 as Fonterra’s Chief Science and Technology Officer.

He has a PhD in biochemistry, is an Honorary Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Massey University, sits on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Dairy Technology and has published over 100 papers and authored four families of patents on various aspects of dairy science and technology. One family of patents has been used to create the A2 Milk CompanyTM with a current market capitalisation of over NZ$12 billion.

Between 2012-2016 he served as President and Chairman of the Board of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the peak body for the global dairy sector. In October 2016 on behalf of the IDF he co-signed the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations recognising the critical role of dairy in sustainable development.

Jeremy is a past Governor of the Dairy Sustainability Framework and chaired the Framework’s Advisory Board. He currently sits on the Board of the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and the Industry Advisory Panel to the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.


Dr Ian Zajac

Psychologist and Senior Researcher at CSIRO
Topic: Nutrition and Cognition

Ian is a Research Scientist within the Nutrition and Health research program at the CSIRO in Australia. He is also a registered Psychologist working in private practice, thus maintaining a dual research/clinical role.

Ian’s research projects relate to the development and substantiation of nutritional and dietary interventions for health benefits, with a particular focus on human cognitive function and Psychological wellbeing. Ian’s research has involved large-scale clinical substantiation trials in all age groups (including young children and the elderly) and also individuals with chronic disease (e.g., Diabetes).

Recent projects have explored nutrient-enriched dairy products, D and B-group vitamins, caloric-restriction patterns and weight-loss interventions on cognitive function, fatigue and mood. In addition to this, Ian has a track record in the area of preventive health behaviours (e.g., cancer screening) and has worked collaboratively with Government and other organisations to translate research into practice to improve health outcomes. Current work in this area includes exploring the utility of wearable technologies in a mental health context, as well as improving the identification of mental health difficulties in at-risk groups, including men.

In his clinical role as a Psychologist, Ian undertakes psychosocial and cognitive assessments, and also offers therapeutic support drawing heavily on a values-guided behavioural modification approach. In this role, he works with adolescents and adults experiencing a range of mental health disorders including but not limited to, anxiety, depression, adjustment difficulties and eating disorders.

With thanks to the Maurice and Phylliss Paykel Trust for supporting Dr Zajac to come to New Zealand.


Olivia Deadman

Registered Nutritionist and Account Director at Goode PR
Topic: Promoting Nutrition – the individual, the profession and the science

Olivia Deadman is a Registered Nutritionist specialising in food and nutrition communications. She has more than ten years’ experience in the nutrition industry, including five years as a private nutrition consultant.

More recently, she has worked in public relations with a focus on food and health promotion and is currently employed at leading consumer PR consultancy, Goode PR.

As a founding member of the NZ Nutrition Society’s Working Group, Olivia is passionate about enhancing the public perception and reputation of Registered Nutritionists and communicating the value of nutrition professionals and nutrition science.

Olivia believes that finding our voice as individuals and as an industry is essential for a positive future for nutrition in New Zealand.


David Tipene-Leach

Professor of Māori and Indigenous Research, Eastern Institute of Technology
Topic: In praise of the boil-up: getting beyond nutrition

I come from Pōrangahau and am of Ngāti Kere descent. . I have been a GP, an academic and a public health physician. My research focus has been on the development of culturally resonant services for Māori, particularly around the development of the wahakura and the Safe Sleep programme.

More recently, smoking cessation in pregnancy and the creation of Māori-resonant antenatal services for SUDI prevention. At the moment I have moved into the mental health sector, into services for vulnerable children and into the to the wider area of cultural safety in the training and ongoing accreditation of medical practitioners.

One particular area of long-time interest of note has been in the prevention of diabetes, in particular, the treatment of pre-diabetes.


Dr Mikki Williden PhD

Registered Nutritionist/Lecturer and Researcher Unitec Institute of Technology
Topic: Nutrition in Practice - Low carbohydrate diets for athletes

Mikki Williden, PhD, is a registered nutritionist with postgraduate degrees in nutrition and public health, and a physical education degree. She lectures and conducts research at Unitec Institute of Technology, has a private nutrition clinic, an online nutrition coaching business and is a regular contributor to digital and print media.

She co-hosts a weekly endurance sport podcast called 'Fitter Radio' and has worked with some notable NZ'ers at helping them achieve their nutrition-related goals, including Nigel Latta (on 'The Sugar' episode) and Simon Gault (on the documentary series 'Why are we Fat?')".

In her downtime, she loves to run on both roads and trails, drink coffee, listen to music and potter in the kitchen.