Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Kathryn Beck

Doctor of Philosophy, (Nutritional Science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Health


Thesis Title
Iron Deficiency in Young Women: Causes, Consequences and Solutions

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Iron-deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It is associated with a number of negative health consequences, including anaemia. Ms Beck investigated dietary and non-dietary predictors of iron-deficiency in young women. She developed a valid and reproducible dietary assessment tool for assessing iron-related dietary patterns. A meat and vegetable dietary pattern was found to reduce the likelihood of iron-deficiency. A milk and yoghurt dietary pattern was found to increase the likelihood of iron-deficiency. Other important iron-deficiency risk factors included blood donation, Asian ethnicity, having children, previous iron-deficiency, and longer menstrual periods. Non-anaemic iron-deficiency was not found to be associated with self-perceived health, well-being, and fatigue. It was shown that consuming an iron-fortified breakfast cereal with vitamin C-rich kiwifruit improved iron levels in iron-deficient women. This research highlighted factors that should be considered when identifying and treating young women with iron-deficiency. 

Associate Professor Welma Stonehouse
Professor Jane Coad
Associate Professor Cathryn Conlon
Associate Professor Rozanne Kruger