Dr Michelle Jospe completed her PhD in 2016. She worked on the SWIFT study, which examined pragmatic support strategies to help people stick to healthy diet and exercise changes.
"While people can lose weight following different diets and exercise programs, the most important element seems to be adherence or sticking to their diet and exercise long term, which is difficult. It's important to discover the best ways of helping people stay on track."
Up for a challenge
As a registered dietitian, Michelle is concerned about the rising obesity epidemic. "Reducing obesity rates in New Zealand (and worldwide) is the most prominent problem in nutrition right now, and one for which there isn't an easy solution".
Michelle is motivated by this complex challenge, and excited by the prospect of finding practical solutions to reduce obesity in New Zealand.
A diverse background
Growing up in Montreal, Canada, Michelle has always had a curious nature. At high school she enjoyed maths and fine arts, and then went on to study graphic design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, resulting in a Bachelor of Design.
A passion for food, health and helping people, led her to study nutrition. Michelle's design background is an asset in her work, and helps her synthesise information and communicate it effectively to different audiences.
Looking to the future
Michelle is keen to pursue her career in nutrition, ideally combining research with clinical practice.
"I think it's a fascinating combination, since it allows me to understand the most pressing problems and discover solutions through cutting edge research, while also applying that research to real world patients".
In her spare time, she loves playing outside in the mountains – usually rock climbing or ski touring with friends. Before moving to New Zealand, Michelle spent a year rock climbing around Asia and North America, where she met her New Zealand-born husband, Paul.
Read about the SWIFT study:
Michelle in the news:
- Losing weight and getting healthy, Radio NZ, 2 July, 2015 (14min, 55sec)
- SWIFT study makes a difference, ODT, 27 Jan, 2015
- From designer to dietitian, Otago Bulletin, 29 September, 2014
Michelle Jospe wins a postgraduate poster competition with her presentation on smartphone diet apps.