Sarah Clare Gerritsen

BA, MA (Applied) VUW., PhD (under examination) UoA.


Sarah Gerritsen is a social scientist who works in the field of public health nutrition and child health. She is employed as a researcher at the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland on HRC- and government-funded projects on infant nutrition and improving food environments. Her PhD on the potential for early childhood education services to assist with obesity prevention (currently under examination) utilized Growing Up in New Zealand data and survey data that she collected from ECE services in Auckland and the Waikato. 

Sarah previously worked at the Ministry of Health as a Senior Advisor in Population Health Research, and was the Research Manager for a cross-party think tank at the Royal Society of Arts in London, The Commission on 2020 Public Services. She has experience in both quantitative (survey design and statistical analysis including regression and multilevel modeling using Stata) and qualitative research methods (semi-structured interviews, content analysis, and group model building using a community-based systems science approach). She was awarded an MA (Applied) in Social Science Research with distinction in 2005 for her research on food insecurity among primary school students in the Wellington region.

Research | Current

Superu Children and Families Research Fund: Adherence to infant feeding guidelines

HRC Explorer Grant: Improving fresh produce (fruit and vegetable) supply and consumption

PhD: Realising the potential of early childhood education environments for obesity prevention (submitted 2017). Supervisor: A/Prof Susan Morton and A/Prof Clare Wall.

Areas of expertise

Child health

Public health nutrition

Population health

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gerritsen, S., Dean, B., Morton, S. M. B., & Wall, C. R. (2017). Do childcare menus meet nutrition guidelines? Quantity, variety and quality of food provided in New Zealand Early Childhood Education services. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 41 (4), 345-351. 10.1111/1753-6405.12667
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Susan Morton, Clare Wall
  • Gerritsen, S., Morton, S. M., & Wall, C. R. (2016). Physical activity and screen use policy and practices in childcare: results from a survey of early childhood education services in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40 (4), 319-325. 10.1111/1753-6405.12529
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Clare Wall, Susan Morton
  • Gerritsen, S., Wall, C., & Morton, S. (2016). Child-care nutrition environments: results from a survey of policy and practice in New Zealand early childhood education services. Public Health Nutrition, 19 (9), 1531-1542. 10.1017/S1368980015002955
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Clare Wall, Susan Morton
  • Tobias, M., Kokaua, J., Gerritsen, S., & Templeton, R. (2010). The health of children in sole-parent families in New Zealand: Results of a population-based cross-sectional survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34 (3), 274-280. 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00526.x

Contact details

Alternative contact

Mobile phone: 0220501700