Growing Up in New Zealand study: Nutrition-related findings

Presenters: Dr Sarah Gerritsen and Professor Clare Wall

Growing Up in New Zealand is a cohort study following more than 6,000 children born in the Auckland, Counties Manukau, and Waikato District Health Board areas in 2009/10. Participating children and their families generously give their time to the study, with face-to-face data collection waves taking place every two to three years.

The research is focused on what works to optimise child development and wellbeing, and has released interesting findings about the what young children in Aotearoa are eating and how policy makers and practitioners can support good nutrition in the early years.

In this webinar, Sarah and Clare will present selected key results from the first ten years of the study, covering the topics of maternal diet in pregnancy, infant feeding, family eating behaviours, food in education environments, and food insecurity.

Dr Sarah Gerritsen is a social scientist working in the field of public health nutrition and child health. Sarah works as a research fellow at the Centre for Longitudinal Research – He Ara ki Mua on New Zealand’s contemporary longitudinal study Growing Up in New Zealand. She also undertakes HRC and government funded research on a variety of public health nutrition topics. Sarah is passionate about producing policy-relevant research that helps to understand what improves the health and wellbeing of New Zealand children.

Professor Clare Wall is the Head of Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Auckland, and a Named Investigator of Growing Up in New Zealand. Clare’s main research focus is the interrelationship between the determinants of nutritional status and health outcomes in the paediatric population. The nutritional environment is the new frontier for human adaptation because more and more people are living in environments which are not conducive of good nutrition practices and which are becoming increasingly more challenging. She has been researching this topic by examining the relationship between nutritional status, dietary intake and health in early life.



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