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MSc, PhD(Otago)

Rachel Brown


Rachel Brown is the Deputy Head of Department. She is a graduate of the University of Otago with a BSc, MSc and PhD (1999). Rachel's research interests lie in the areas of nuts and health, energy metabolism, sports nutrition, and lipid metabolism. Recently she has been involved in research investigating the effects of nut consumption on plasma lipids and lipoproteins, inflammation and endothelial function. This research also investigated whether public health advice regarding nut consumption for the reduction in cardiovascular disease risk is sustainable and achievable. She is also currently involved in a research project investigating potential differences in individuals who report difficulties in losing weight (conservers) compared to individuals who report difficulties in gaining weight (expenders).

Rachel is a member of the Agencies for Action Scientific committee where she has co-authored several reports including “Does the family environment contribute to food habits or behaviours and physical activity in children?”; “Does sedentary behaviour contribute to chronic disease or chronic disease risk in adults?”; and “Are nutrition and physical activity primary prevention interventions in the primary care setting effective at reducing biochemical and physical risk factors?”

Paper coordination and teaching

Rachel coordinates:

Rachel teaches:

Current postgraduate students


  • Rebecca Cooke. Characteristics of obesity resistance and susceptibility.
  • Melyssa Roy. The SWIFT trial: Support strategies for whole food diets, intermittent fasting and training.
  • Michelle Jospe. The SWIFT study – Effect of support strategies on weight, body composition, and eating and dieting behaviour at one year.

Master of Science

  • Janet Yong. Barriers and facilitators to nut consumption.
  • Luke Scullion. The HABIT study: Effects of healthy changes to bread on blood lipids and lipoproteins.

Master of Dietetics

  • Heidi Taylor. The effects of soaking whole and ground almonds on consumer acceptance.
  • Shivani Kumari. The effects of soaking on phytic acid and food safety of whole and ground nuts.

Recent graduates


  • Siew Ling Tey. Energy Density, energy balance and nuts.

Master of Science

  • Asika Devi. Is nut-enriched bread an acceptable and effective vechicle to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors?
  • Jo Slater. Low energy availability in New Zealand athletes (LEANZ).

Master of Dietetics

  • Alexandra Tully. Nutritional adequacy of three popular diets.
  • Melanie Park. A cost analysis of three popular diets.
  • Chloe Hindle. Energy Availability and Macronutrient Content of Elite Rugby Players' Diets.
  • Claire Gibson. Disordered eating and body image in elite male Rugby Union players during pre-season training.
  • Katherine Pearson. Nutrient displacement with nut consumption.
  • Esther Kim. The dietary assessment software requirements of New Zealand Dietitians.


Pai, N. N., Brown, R. C., & Black, K. E. (2024). Risk of low energy availability and nutrition knowledge among female team sport athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.23736/s0022-4707.23.15273-x

Peddie, M., Gale, J., Taylor, R., Brown, R., & Haszard, J. (2023). Do regular activity breaks performed in the laboratory impact subsequent free living activity patterns? A randomized crossover study. Journal of Sport & Exercise Science, 7(4), (pp. 148). doi: 10.36905/jses.2023.04.01

Gale, J. T., Haszard, J. J., Wei, D. L., Brown, R. C., Taylor, R. W., & Peddie, M. (2023). Effects of activity breaks in the evening on subsequent sleep and physical activity in healthy adults: A randomized crossover trial. Proceedings of the New Zealand Branch of the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) Sleep in Aotearoa Annual Scientific Meeting. A8. Retrieved from

Brown, R. C., Ware, L., Gray, A. R., Tey, S. L., & Chisholm, A. (2023). Comparing the effects of consuming almonds or biscuits on body weight in habitual snackers: A one-year randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 118(1), 228-240. doi: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.05.015

Ranasinghe, C., Peddie, M., Smith, C., Scott, T., Fleming, E., Webster, K., Brown, R., Haszard, J., & Houghton, L. (2023). Prevalence of inadequacy of micronutrient intake in a sample of vegetarian and non-vegetarian female adolescents in New Zealand. Medical Sciences Forum, 18(1), 29. doi: 10.3390/msf2023018029

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