Prof Carol Wham staff profile picture

Contact details +6492136644

Prof Carol Wham BHSc, DipEd, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Professor of Public Health Nutrition

School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition

Experienced dietitian with expertise in paediatric and gerontology nutrition, dietary assessment, longitudinal studies, dietetics and public health nutrition. A lead author for the Ministry of Health background papers for the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (2008) and Healthy Older people (2009). Expert reviewer of nutrients (protein, AMDR) for the NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand (2005). Member of the NZ Dietitians Board 2007-2015. Associate Editor of Nutrition and Dietetics and Frontiers in Nutrition. Awarded external research funding from the Health Research Council, the Ministry of Health, the National Heart Foundation and Lotteries Health.


Contact details

  • Ph: Extension 43644
    Location: 3.25, SNWE
    Campus: Albany


  • Bachelor of Home Science - University of Otago (1977)
  • Diploma in Education - University of Otago (1981)
  • Master of Science - University of Otago (1994)
  • PhD - University of Adelaide, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine (2000)

Fellowships and Memberships

  • Member, Higher Education Academy (Fellow) (2020)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Registration, Registered Dietitian, Dietitians Board

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Dietary assessment and the relationship between food and nutrients and health outcomes in ageing. Principal nutrition investigator for the longtitudinal study of ageing (Life and Living in Advanced age, a Cohort Study, LiLACS NZ).Current research aims to establish food-related and nutrient related predictors of change in health, quality of life and functional status.

Nutritional screening and risk assessment in community, hospital and residential care settings.

Caffeine intake and abuse in New Zealand

Public Health Nutrition


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Nutrition and Dietetics (111100): Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199): Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)


Gerontology Nutrition

Nutritonal Screening

Dietary Assessment

Public Health Nutrition

Dairy Nutrition

Paediatric Nutrition

Food Allergy and Intolerance


Research Projects

Completed Projects

Project Title: Te Puawaitanga o Nga Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu, Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand

Dr Carol Wham is a Principle Investigator for Te Pu?waitanga O Ng? Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu, Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand started in 2010 at the University of Auckland and led by Professor Ngaire Kerse. The LiLACS NZ team consists of Maori and non-Maori investigators based at the University of Auckland as well as community partners in Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane, Opotiki and Te Kaha. It is a world leading research programme that aims to determine the predictors of successful advanced ageing and understand the trajectories of health and wellbeing in advanced age. LiLACS NZ recruited 937 participants from the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua regions of NZ in 2010, 421 Maori born in 1920-1930, (aged 80-90 years) and 516 non-Maori born in 1925 (aged 85 years). To date, there is very little information available about the nutritional status of those age 80 years and over in NZ. In the NZ Adult Nutrition Survey data are aggregated over age 55 years for Maori and over 70 years for non-Maori. In 2010 49% of Maori and 39% of non-Maori participants were found to be at high nutrition risk using the screening tool SCREENII. A 12-month follow-up visit was completed in 2011 and a detailed dietary assessment (2xMultiple Pass Recall) was offered as part of that stage of the study. Participants who took part in any data collection at this 12-month follow-up numbered 660. Nutrient intakes were calculated by coding all food and drinks recorded by participants using FOODfiles (2010), an electronic subset of data from the New Zealand Food Composition Database which information for 58 components of 2739 foods. This project sub-contracts Dr Carol Wham to prepare academic outputs from the detailed nutrition assessment. Energy, nutrient intake, and the contribution of food groups in Maori and non-Maori octogenarians as well as nutrition outcomes related to macronutrient and micronutrient intake will be reported
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Date Range: 2015 - 2016

Funding Body: University of Auckland

Project Team:

Project Title: Nutrition Risk in Older People

A simple, valid and cost effective method to detect nutrition risk prior to the development of overt malnutrition may reduce health problems. This study is the first to validate the nutrition screening tool (SCREEN) for people in their eighties. The SCREEN tool is a 14 item questionnaire that provides information on weight change, food intake and whether people skip meals, can shop, prepare and cook meals; whether they have any appetite or swallowing difficulties and whether they eat alone or with others. Forty five people aged 85 to 86 years living in Tauranga enrolled in a longitudinal study of ageing (LiLACS NZ) were recruited to the study. Equal proportions of participants were recruited at low, medium and high nutrition risk based on their SCREEN scores 12 months prior. Validation of SCREEN was achieved by comparing the participant's new SCREEN scores against a dietitians risk rating. To undertake the risk rating assessment a medical history, weight and height measures and three days of detailed dietary intake were collected. Statistical methods were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the cut-off point to determine those at high nutrition risk. A new cut off point to detect nutrition risk was defined. This cut-point can now be recommended for future nutrition risk assessment in this age group.
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Date Range: 2009 - 2011

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Teaching and Supervision

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Sala Naliva - Doctor of Philosophy
    Determinants of nutrition status among older adults in Fiji
  • Harshani Perera - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evaluating and comparing the healthy food and physical activity environment in schools in Sri Lanka and New Zealand: A study among 5- to 13-year-old children
  • Danika Pillay - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evaluation of the Healthy Food Environment for the Healthy Active Learning Intervention
  • Marla Burrow - Doctor of Philosophy
    Health care assistant decision making and information behaviour in long term care settings.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2023 - Joanne Slater - Doctor of Philosophy
    Drivers of obesity: Associations of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and diet on metabolic health and the gut microbiota
  • 2022 - Christopher Vogliano - Doctor of Philosophy
    Assessing the Sustainability of Indigenous Food Systems in Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)
  • 2020 - Paul Eme - Doctor of Philosophy
    Assessment of sustainable food systems and sustainable diets in two atoll Islands of Kiribati, a West Pacific Island State
  • 2020 - Idah Chatindiara - Doctor of Philosophy
    Frailty, Nutrition & Healthy Ageing: Evaluating Nutrition Risk in Support of Healthy Ageing