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.
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.