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BSc(Hons) BA(Hons) PhD(Otago)

Anne-Louise HeathEmail

Anne-Louise is currently a Professor in te Tari Kai Tōtika Takata o te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou – the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her areas of research interest are iron nutrition, infant nutrition, and the use of food-based strategies to improve nutritional status and health.

She is Co-Principal Investigator for the Health Research Council funded First Foods New Zealand (FFNZ) study investigating the impact of baby food pouches and baby-led weaning on iron deficiency, growth, choking and dental health in infants; Co-Principal Investigator for the Ministry for Primary Industries funded Young Foods New Zealand (YFNZ) study investigating diet in children 1–4 years of age; and an Investigator for the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) study – a large randomised controlled trial of the effects of infant diet and sleep on growth.

Recent projects include: the Baby-Led Introduction to SolidS (BLISS) study investigating the benefits and possible risks of a baby-led approach to complementary feeding (a modified version of Baby-Led Weaning). Along with “A Good Night's Sleep” investigating the influence of alterations in the gut microbiota on infant sleep, and the Toddler Food Study investigating the efficacy of dietary interventions for preventing the development of iron and other micronutrient deficiencies in toddlers.

Anne-Louise is a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Development of the New Zealand Nutrition Survey; was a member of the Technical Advisory Group for Review of Nutrition Guidance for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, and Infants and Toddlers for the Ministry of Health; and her research team's work has been cited by a wide range of international health agencies.

Paper co-ordination

Professor Heath co-ordinates the following papers:

Recent graduates


  • Claudia Leong. Microbiota and diet in infants and young children. 2019.
  • Lisa Daniels. Impact of a baby-led approach to complementary feeding on iron and zinc intake and status: A randomised controlled trial. 2017.
  • Sonya Cameron. Is Baby-led Weaning a feasible method for introducing complementary foods to infants in New Zealand? 2014.

Master of Science

  • Madeleine Rowan. The Influence of Environmental Attitudes on Food Choices Made for Infants. 2021.
  • Sabina Bacchus. Acceptability to Parents of a Baby-Led Approach to Complementary Feeding. 2017.
  • Louise Fangupo. Does a baby-led approach to complementary feeding alter the risk of growth faltering and choking? 2016.
  • Brittany Morison. Nutrient intakes of 12 month old infants following a baby-led approach to infant feeding. 2015.
  • Liz Williams. Nutrient intakes of 9 month old infants following a baby-led approach to infant feeding. 2015.
  • Aimee Richardson. Investigating links between well-being and iron and selenium. 2015.
  • Megan Somerville. Does dietary intervention during the first 12 months of life affect eating behaviours at 12 months of age? 2013.

Master of Dietetics

  • Ella Duxfield. Preliminary comparison of the energy and macronutrient intakes of young children aged 1 to 3.9 years living in areas of high compared to low household deprivation. 2021.
  • Neve McLean. The iron intakes and likely bioavailability of iron in vegetarian and non-vegetarian adolescent women in New Zealand. 2019
  • Annabel Cowan. Zinc intakes and food sources in vegetarian compared to non-vegetarian adolescent females in New Zealand. 2019.
  • Bridget Menzies. Iron intakes and food sources of iron in New Zealand adolescent females. 2019.
  • Isabelle Ritchie. Zinc intakes and main food sources of zinc in New Zealand adolescent females. 2019.
  • Rachael Lamb. An analysis of donated breast milk from the Human Milk Bank at Christchurch Women's Hospital and its proposed impact on the nutritional status of moderate to late preterm infants from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Christchurch Women's Hospital, New Zealand. 2018.
  • Harriet Carter. EAT5 Non-core - An investigation of the 'non-core' food intake of five-year old children in New Zealand. 2017.
  • Robyn Moore. EAT5 Drinks - An investigation into the drink intake of five-year old children living in New Zealand. 2017.
  • Lucy Kennedy. EAT5: Eating frequency in 5-year old New Zealand children. 2016.
  • Renee Yu. Fruit and vegetable intakes of 5-year old children in Dunedin, New Zealand. 2015.
  • Li Kee Chee. The role of “snacks” in the diets of 5-year old children in Dunedin, New Zealand. 2015.
  • Emily Flett,. What is the role of puréed foods in the diets of infants during the complementary feeding period? 2015.
  • Anita Clouston. The role of commercial infant and toddler foods in the diets of New Zealand toddlers. 2014.
  • Jia Yun Fam. Fruit and vegetable intakes of 3-year old New Zealand children. 2014.


Haszard, J., Heath, A.-L. M., Katiforis, I., Fleming, E. A., & Taylor, R. W. (2024). Contribution of baby food pouches and other commercial infant foods to the diets of infants: a cross-sectional study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2024.02.030

Cox, A. M., Taylor, R. W., Haszard, J. J., Beck, K. L., von Hurst, P. R., Conlon, C. A., Te Morenga, L. A., Daniels, L., McArthur, J., Paul, R., McLean, N. H., Jones, E. A., Katiforis, I., Brown, K. J., Gash, M., Rowan, M., Fleming, E. A., Jupiterwala, R., Bruckner, B. R., & Heath, A.-L. M. (2024). Baby food pouches and Baby-Led Weaning: Associations with energy intake, eating behaviour and infant weight status. Appetite, 192, 107121. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2023.107121

Peddie, M. C., Gale, J. T., Haszard, J. J., Scott, T., Ranasinghe, C., Heath, A.-L. M., Gibson, R. S., & Houghton, L. A. (2023). Micronutrient status of New Zealand adolescent women consuming vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 32(4), 434-443. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.202312_32(4).0008

Brown, K. J., Beck, K. L., von Hurst, P., Heath, A.-L., Taylor, R., Haszard, J., Daniels, L., … Katiforis, I., Rowan, M., McLean, N., Cox, A., Fleming, E., … Conlon, C. (2023). Adherence to infant feeding guidelines in the First Foods New Zealand study. Nutrients, 15, 4650. doi: 10.3390/nu15214650

Taylor, R. W., Haszard, J. J., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Gray, A. R., Fortune, S., Sullivan, T., Adebowale, T., & Taylor, B. J. (2023). Rapid infant weight gain or point-in-time weight status: Which is the best predictor of later obesity and body composition? Obesity, 31, 2583-2592. doi: 10.1002/oby.23861

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