News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Awards for dietetic excellence announced


Three dietitians received top Awards last night at the New Zealand Dietetic Association's annual conference in Christchurch.

Dunedin researcher and private practice dietitian Alwyn Todd is the first ever recipient of the NZDA Unilever Scholarship - a generous award of $10,000 annually for up to four years practice-based research that develops and extends the evidence base in the area of cardiovascular disease. It also allows dietitians who are recipients of the award to continue their practice while carrying out research.

Alwyn's focus is on the role of nutrition in disease prevention. She is currently running a clinical study looking at how much salt people have in their diets and how their blood vessels are functioning - the results of the study will be written up as her PhD ‘The impact of dietary sodium chloride intake on arterial wall function in normotensive and hypertensive subjects, a randomised controlled cross over intervention study’.

'One in three New Zealanders now has high blood pressure,' says Alwyn. 'Most New Zealanders consume over double the recommended intake of salt each day (guidelines for disease prevention now recommend a maximum intake of 4 g/day and, in New Zealand, we consume approximately 9g/day).'

'Our study is designed to assess the effect of different levels of salt on blood vessel function in people with normal and high blood pressure. This study will provide information on how much salt in our diets is actually harmful in terms of blood vessel function. It also looks at whether dietary change can improve people's blood pressure, and the degree of benefit dietary change may have,' she says.

Amber Parry Strong, research dietitian at the Wellington School of Medicine is the recipient of the Neige Todhunter Award. The award, which provides funding for dietitians to extend their academic career with post graduate research, will enable Amber to complete her PhD in Human Nutrition on Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss.

The aim of her study is to assess whether a high-protein:moderate carbohydrate diet is more effective than a low fat:high carbohydrate diet in reducing weight and maintaining weight loss and improving glycaemic control, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and blood pressure without adverse effects in subjects with type 2 diabetics.

This is Amber’s second award; in 2003 she was the Nestle Young Achiever. She is in private practice, an advisor to the NZ Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), and has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Dairy Goat Co-operative and Sportswide Fitness Centre.

Auckland dietitian Kristin Leaity is this year's Nestle Young Achiever which is given to a dietitian who, within five years of registration, excels in an aspect of dietetic practice beyond the usual requirements of their job.

Kristin has developed a number of dietetic related initiatives in both New Zealand and Australia after first gaining experience as a new graduate dietitian in clinical dietetics at Auckland City Hospital during which time she helped develop an enteral feeding audit tool for quality assurance which is now a bi-annual audit activity for the Hospital's department.

Currently National Dietitian for the New Zealand Compass Group, Kristin has implemented the ‘Taste Life’ health and wellness programme into school, retail and residential sectors of the community, as well as a Diet Care programme for aged care sites - a complete programme of resources specific to senior living, to ensure nutrition needs of residents are met within financial guidelines.

'This is an outstanding achievement for a dietitian who, within the first five years of qualifying, is recognised and respected as a nutrition and dietetic expert in programmes that influence the nutrition of a significant number of New Zealanders,' says Sandy Clemett, President of the New Zealand Dietetic Association. 'Kristin’s contribution to the profession, both at a local and national level, over the four years since her registration has been exemplary.'

Three Education Trust Awards were also presented to Nelson consultant dietitian Annette Nistor; Ruth Newsome-White, dietitian specializing in older persons' health with the Canterbury District Health Board; and to Kaye Dennison, dietitian with Middlemore Hospital's community based rehabilitation team.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland