The team at Massey University’s Nutrition and Dietetics Centre aims to cut through the information overload and offer sound, practical advice, backed by science and research, across a range of services and consultation packages.
The centre’s principal dietitian, Miriam Mullard, recently returned to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, where she worked in both private practice and for the National Health Service Trust. She says she is excited by the opportunities the new clinic will provide.
“People have a variety of reasons why they need to be careful with their diets. Some have allergies or intolerances; others may have weight management problems or need specific information for chronic health issues, sports nutrition or even their child’s fussy eating. We’re here to help.”
Dietetics is the study of the food that people eat, and its effects on health. This covers everything from pre-natal nutrition through to optimal eating for senior citizens.
The clinic will offer a range of consultation options, from individual programmes to group packages, nutrition education talks, bespoke meal plans, guided supermarket visits and professional development seminars. Professional services, including sports psychology, can be added to the programme as required, and the clinic also provides BodPod body analysis, which accurately measures body composition. Charges will vary depending on the type of consultation.
“We are keen to hear from people who want to work with us individually or in groups, so we can provide advice tailored to their needs. We can offer advice on women’s health, men’s health, and particular health needs – like diabetes, iritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cardiovascular disease or allergies. We can also offer healthy eating advice for vegans and vegetarians, and people looking to change their lifestyle and get more physically active,” Ms Mullard says.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Health, Professor Paul McDonald, says launching this new professional practice centre will benefit staff, students and people in the community.
“We are delighted to offer this new service to the public, as it particularly focuses on those who are not eligible for assistance through their district health boards, for example. At the same time, our dietetics students will have the chance to practise in a professional environment alongside our qualified staff. Dietitian services are in huge demand within the health care system, and access is limited to the chronically ill. This clinic provides an opportunity for Massey to help contribute towards building a healthier society,” he says.
Ms Mullard says the clinic’s services will also be offered to GP clinics, schools and corporate organisations across the Auckland region.
“Many organisations now encourage their staff to have healthier lifestyles, and I can travel to workplaces, schools and GP clinics to deliver talks or consultations. We can also help deliver professional development seminars for midwives and people who provide nutritional advice. We know there is a need for this service across the Auckland region, and we can work with people to fill in those knowledge gaps and help build a healthier New Zealand.”