Di­eti­cians hon­our heart health leader

Veg­eta­bles.co.nz works with the Heart Foun­da­tion and Health Pro­mo­tion Agency on the ‘Easy Meals with veg­eta­bles' recipe cards and videos and with the Heart Foun­da­tion on the Cook­ing Cur­ricu­lum Project.

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Dave Monro leads the Heart Foun­da­tion’s work and he was re­cently awarded the Di­eti­tians New Zealand Award of Ex­cel­lence. We share his ci­ta­tion for the award;

“Dave, the food and nu­tri­tion man­ager for the Heart Foun­da­tion, has re­ceived this high­est ac­co­lade for Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in Di­etet­ics.Dave has made an im­mense con­tri­bu­tion to health gain for New Zealan­ders through the lead­er­ship he has dis­played in pub­lic health nu­tri­tion whilst work­ing for the Heart Foun­da­tion of New Zealand.

“His abil­ity to in­flu­ence Gov­ern­ment agen­cies and the food in­dus­try to­wards poli­cies which en­able health gain is based on Dave’s wide knowl­edge of food com­po­si­tion, food reg­u­la­tion and the in­trin­sic in­tegrity of the ad­vice he gives. He is known for his con­ge­nial­ity and his abil­ity to present his po­si­tion in an au­thor­i­ta­tive and non-com­bat­ive man­ner.

“In his ca­pac­ity as food and nu­tri­tion man­ager, Dave over­sees the Heart Foun­da­tion’s work with the food in­dus­try to im­prove the nu­tri­tional qual­ity of foods avail­able to New Zealan­ders. This work recog­nises that small changes in food com­po­si­tion can lead to sub­stan­tial pub­lic health gain. It in­cludes work­ing with key food in­dus­try play­ers to re­duce the sodium con­tent of prod­ucts, and to date, as a re­sult of re­for­mu­la­tions, over 300 tonnes of salt per an­num have been re­moved from tar­geted food prod­ucts.

“Most re­cently, this work pro­gramme has been ex­panded to the im­por­tant area of sugar re­duc­tion. Dave’s ad­vice and ex­per­tise also ex­tends to sup­port a range of re­search groups who seek to as­sess, ex­plore and en­hance poli­cies to cre­ate healthy food en­vi­ron­ments in New Zealand.

“Dave’s pas­sion for change and in­no­va­tion led the evo­lu­tion of the Heart Foun­da­tion’s food and nu­tri­tion phi­los­o­phy so that it re­mains cur­rent and rel­e­vant within a chal­leng­ing land­scape. Crit­i­cal to this ap­proach has been a stronger fo­cus on whole and less pro­cessed foods, and an em­pha­sis on life skills, in­clud­ing food prepa­ra­tion skills, as pre­cur­sors to achiev­ing a health­ier diet. “Dave’s con­tri­bu­tion to pop­u­la­tion health gain con­tin­ues through the part­ner­ship with veg­eta­bles.co.nz and the Health Pro­mo­tion Agency (HPA) to pro­mote the con­sump­tion of veg­eta­bles by sup­port­ing New Zealand fam­i­lies, par­tic­u­larly lower in­come fam­i­lies, to pre­pare cheap, tasty and easy meals.

“In line with a stronger fo­cus on life skills, Dave has evolved the work of his team to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of prac­ti­cal cook­ing skills for chil­dren in in­ter­me­di­ate schools. This is done in part­ner­ship with veg­eta­bles.co.nz and key ed­u­ca­tion as­so­ci­a­tions. A ‘by teach­ers for teach­ers’ ap­proach has been taken to de­velop re­sources and tools that sup­port and en­hance what is be­ing taught by teach­ers. The ex­ten­sion of Dave’s work in this area high­lights an in­no­va­tive ap­proach, while build­ing on the foun­da­tion ex­ist­ing work in schools and cater­ing for a clear gap in the sec­tor.

“Through his rep­re­sen­ta­tion on many gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try boards and work­ing groups, Dave has role­mod­elled lead­er­ship in ser­vice to the di­etetic pro­fes­sion and is well re­spected by wide-rang­ing food in­dus­try and health pro­fes­sional groups.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions Dave, you are a wellde­served re­cip­i­ent of Di­eti­tians NZ’s high­est hon­our.

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