Anti-obesity and wellbeing expert takes up new role with the Ministry of Education

To ensure the Ministry of Education gets the best information around exercise and healthy food, one of New Zealand’s top sports and nutrition experts was today appointed to a new role as Chief Education Health and Nutrition Advisor.

Professor Grant Schofield is Auckland University of Technology’s Professor of Public Health and is also the director of its Human Potential Centre. His research focuses on disease prevention, physical activity and nutrition health promotion (see biography below).

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted says Professor Schofield will be working across Government agencies to help New Zealand learners achieve their full potential through the use of international and national health and nutrition research.

“The Government is committed to combating childhood obesity. The 2015 Childhood Obesity Plan developed by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman acknowledges that education settings are an important environment for influencing children’s physical activity and food choices,” she says.

“The Ministry has tasked Prof Schofield with lifting the quality of public debate around health and nutrition education. He will also bring together analytical, research and policy experts to assist the Ministry.”

Professor Schofield, along with the Ministry’s Chief Education Science Advisor Stuart McNaughton, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman and other education advisors, will work with a number of key government agencies and researchers in New Zealand and around the world.

“He will also help foster good practice within the Ministry, build bridges to academia and the profession to lift overall performance,” Ms Holsted says.

The role of Chief Education Health and Nutrition Advisor is a part-time secondment from the Auckland University of Technology to the Ministry of Education. Professor Schofield will continue his research programme at the Auckland University of Technology and work for the Human Potential Centre.


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