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Associate Professor Kathryn Beck staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43662

Associate Professor Kathryn Beck PhD, MSc, PGDipDiet, BSc, BPhEd

Associate Professor

Doctoral Supervisor
School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition

Dr Kathryn Beck is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian and Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University in Albany.  Her current research is funded by a New Zealand Health Research Council emerging researcher grant investigating dietary patterns, cognitive function and metabolic health in older adults.  Dr Beck is a fellow of the World Cancer Research Fund Academy and currently supervises 5 PhD and 7 MSc students. Her research interests include dietary assessment, dietary patterns and health outcomes, iron nutrition and using sport as a platform for helping people to eat well.

Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: +64 9 443 9649
    Location: 84.15, 84
    Campus: Albany

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2013)
  • Master of Science - Massey University (2008)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics - University of Otago (2001)
  • Bachelor of Science - University of Otago (2000)
  • Bachelor of Physical Education - University of Otago (1999)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Supervisor, Massey University

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Dietary assessment - development and validation of dietary assessment tools

Dietary pattern analysis and relationships with health and disease

Sports and exercise nutrition

Iron

Body composition analysis

Thematics

Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Clinical and Sports Nutrition (111101): Dietetics and Nutrigenomics (111102): Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Nutrition and Dietetics (111100): Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199): Nutritional Physiology (111103): Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)

Keywords

Dietary assessment, dietary pattern analysis, sport and exercise nutrition, iron, body composition analysis

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 3 4
Team Member 1 2

Current Projects

Project Title: Optimising cognitive function: the role of dietary and lifestyle patterns

The New Zealand population is ageing, with 21% of the population expected to be over 65 years by 2031. Age related cognitive decline is one of the most serious health issues faced as the world’s population ages. The preservation of optimal cognitive function for as long as possible is critical in ensuring successful ageing. The role of dietary and lifestyle factors are increasingly recognised in preventing cognitive decline. However, most studies have focussed on single nutrients (eg. omega 3) and foods (eg. fish). This has several limitations as people do not consume foods and nutrients in isolation but as combinations of foods and nutrients. In contrast, ‘dietary patterns’ (a relatively new approach to assessing dietary intake) capture the overall food matrix and complexity of the diet. Dietary patterns have been linked with a range of health outcomes, and more recently cognitive function in research from overseas. Few studies however have considered dietary patterns in the context of genetics and other lifestyle factors (eg. physical activity). Dietary patterns differ between countries therefore it is critical to gain an understanding of older New Zealander’s dietary patterns and their impact on cognition and metabolic health in the context of genetic and lifestyle factors.
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Date Range: 2017 - 2020

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Book

Thesis

Report

Other

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • 2013-present - Massey University Academy of Sport
    Dietitian

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 151.232 Nutrition and Metabolism
  • 151.332 Nutrition for Sport and Performance
  • 151.709 Biometrics for the Animal and Nutritional Sciences
  • 151.715 Advanced Sports Nutrition

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 3 0
Co-supervisor 6 1

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Anne Nadine Hiol - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding protein intake in older adults living in New Zealand
  • Karen Mumme - Doctor of Philosophy
    The REACH study - Researching Eating Activity and Cognitive Health
  • Nicola Martin - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nutritional health of female recruits completing basic combat training in the New Zealand Army

Co-supervisor of:

  • Kim Brown - Doctor of Philosophy
    The New Zealand First Foods study: Dietary patterns of New Zealand infants
  • Rio Jupiterwala - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nutrient intake and dietary patterns of young New Zealand children
  • Maria Casale - Doctor of Philosophy
    First Foods for Infants
  • Cassie Slade - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigating the effect of nutrition on osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Maryam Delshad Siyahkaly - Doctor of Philosophy
    Bone health in New Zealand children (age 9-10 years)
  • Sophie Kindleysides - Doctor of Philosophy
    New insights into taste perception and associations with dietary intake, obesity and metabolic health.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Hajar Mazahery - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Role of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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