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The following presentations are from the 2014 Iron Awareness Week Symposium for Health Professionals.

Bob Stewart - Researcher and Lecturer, Massey University

Manipulating the Bioavailability of Dietary Iron

Bob has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in nutritional physiology from Massey University and is in the final stages of a PhD in Human Nutrition. His postgraduate research is based on investigating the effect of combining specific nutrients and foods with an iron supplement in order to influence iron bioavailability, which describes how a diet may be manipulated to successfully improve iron absorption. His presentation answers the question of why iron is so hard to absorb from the diet with solutions to improve iron bioavailability in order to successfully improve iron status.

Dr Kathryn Beck Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Massey University

Iron for Women and Adolecents

Kathryn is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian with experience working in the clinical, community and academic settings. She has undergraduate degrees in Physical Education and Science (Human Nutrition). Her Masters research used stable isotopes to measure iron absorption, while her PhD investigated causes, consequences and solutions to iron deficiency in young women. She is currently involved in research projects investigating the iron status of female adolescent ballet dancers, and

female military recruits. Kathryn supervises several Masters research projects covering a variety of nutrition related topics. She has a special interest in sports nutrition and is currently dietitian for the Massey University Academy of Sport athletes, as well as paper co-ordinator of two sports nutrition papers. In her presentation, Kathryn addresses who is at risk of low iron status, the prevalence of iron deficiency in developed and developing countries including New Zealand with a focus on women and adolescents. She also looks at the risk factors for iron deficiency, both dietary and non-dietary and the solutions to iron deficiency with an example of an intervention she has researched. 

Dr Clare Wall - Associate Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Medical Sciences, University of Auckland

Iron for Women and Adolecents

Dr Wall’s main research focus is the interrelationship between the determinants of micronutrient status and health outcomes in the paediatric population. Dr Wall has been researching this topic by measuring the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in

various paediatric populations and looking at the relationship between nutritional status, dietary intake and health. Her presentation looks at the concerning levels of iron deficiency amongst our infants and toddlers and how we address it.


Alex Popple - Senior Performance Nutritionist, High Performance Sport New Zealand

Iron requirements for athletes, deficiency and diet and supplementation strategies for athletes

Alex’s role involves leading the nutrition programme for Bike New Zealand, supporting Rowing New Zealand and providing regional support to the New Zealand Sevens. Prior to moving to New Zealand in March 2013, Alex worked at the English Institute of Sport based out of Loughborough University where he led the nutrition programme for British Swimming. He supported the British Swimming team at the Beijing and London Olympics between 2007-2013. Alex’s academic background is in Sport and Exercise Science, with specialisation in sports nutrition. He studied both Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees at Sheffield Hallam University as well as holding an International Olympic Committee’s Diploma in Sports Nutrition. 


Professor Cameron-Smith - Professor of Nutrition, University of Auckland

Ironing out the wrinkles: The emerging actions of iron to improve health in the older population

Professor Cameron-Smith obtained his PhD in nutritional biochemistry from Deakin University, Australia. He undertook postdoctoral training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, investigating endocrine disturbances and lipid metabolism in obesity. Returning to Deakin University, he established a clinical research programme focusing on the dynamic gene and signalling responses to nutrition and exercise. His appointment to the Chair in Nutrition at The University of Auckland complements the diverse nutritional research interests within the Liggins Institute and adds to the strategic growth of the University’s trans-disciplinary Food and Health Programme. David has taken on the position of Foundation Director of one of the New Zealand Government’s national science challenge investment in high value nutrition. He is active in researching and consuming food that is of substantiated benefit on human health. Professor Cameron-Smith highlights the inverse correlation between red meat ingestion and the rising prevalence of anaemia in older adults and subsequent adverse health consequences. He also presents how sub-clinical deficiencies have profound affects at the genetic signalling pathways.


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