The Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago is the only department of its kind at a New Zealand University. Undergraduate degrees, BSc and BCApSc; Honours degrees, BSc(Hons) and BCApSc(Hons); and a range of postgraduate options at Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD level are offered.
The Department is also responsible for all Dietetic training in New Zealand, leading to the Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics and provide training in Human Nutrition for students enrolled for degree courses in physical education, medicine and health sciences. At present about 500 students are enrolled for undergraduate papers in Human Nutrition and 60 in various postgraduate courses.
Staff members have a wide range of special interests in fields including:
- Nutritional biochemistry and metabolism
- Nutritional aspects of coronary heart disease and diabetes
- Lipids and antioxidants in health and disease
- Nutritional aspects of trace elements, in particular iron, zinc, selenium and iodine
- Sports nutrition
- Maternal and infant nutrition
- Calcium and osteoporosis
- Geriatric nutrition
- Nutrition and poverty
- Foodservice management
- Food safety
- Applied dietetics
- Dietary assessment methodologies
- Public health and community nutrition
- Mäori and Pacific Island nutrition
A number of those involved in these areas of research have high international reputations and many of the projects are carried out in collaboration with other departments and institutions both within the University and overseas - Dusseldorf, Guelph, London, Oxford, Sydney, Oregon State University, Wageningen, Vanderbilt Univesity, Human Nutrition Research Centre, Grand Forks, USA; Centre for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado, Denver, USA; College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Malawi, Africa, Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK. As the only university Department of Human Nutrition in New Zealand it makes a major contribution to the discipline of nutrition both nationally and internationally. The Department is also involved in a number of WHO sponsored projects and programmes.