Professor Sally Diana Poppitt



Appointed to the Fonterra Chair in Human Nutrition at the University of Auckland in June 2012, Sally is the founding Director of the University’s Human Nutrition Unit, a residential intervention facility established as a collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine. Currently she is based within the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB). Sally is also Principal Investigator for the Metabolic Health platform within the National Science Challenge High Value Nutrition (HVN) program, and member of the Science Leadership Team. She also holds a joint appointment at the New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) for Food and Nutrition within the Riddet Institute.

Originally from Cambridge in the UK, Sally came to Auckland to take up a 5 year position as lecturer/senior lecturer in Nutrition in the Department of Medicine, after which she returned to the UK for 2 years.  The opportunity to take on the role of Director of Clinical Trials Development at Protemix Corporation, a University spin off company developing therapies to prevent the metabolic complications of diabetes, led to her return to the University of Auckland as an Associate Professor within SBS in 2006.

Prior to her original appointment in the University, Sally held a 5 year Bristol Myers Mead Johnson research fellowship at the Medical Research Council & University of Cambridge Dunn Nutrition Unit in the UK; she also spent 3 years at the Dunn’s tropical nutrition research centre in rural West Kiang in The Gambia, on the far western tip of West Africa. 

Research | Current

Current research is focused on the prevention and treatment of conditions arising from poor nutrition including overweight and obesity, metabolic dysregulation, and diabetic and cardiovascular risk. She has a particular interest in the mechanisms which underpin appetite regulation and the control of food intake. Within her role at the University she leads the dairy Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) human nutrition platform, part of the $72M joint NZ government/industry funded 7 year program of innovation for dairy science.


Fonterra Chair of Human Nutrition, University of Auckland

Director, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland

Member of the Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence(CoRE)  for Food and Nutrition

Areas of expertise

Human Nutrition; Clinical Intervention Trials; Obesity and Weight Control; Appetite Regulation; Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Hansen, S., Huttunen-Lenz, M., Sluik, D., Brand-Miller, J., Drummen, M., Fogelholm, M., ... Larsen, T. M. (2018). Demographic and Social-Cognitive Factors Associated with Weight Loss in Overweight, Pre-diabetic Participants of the PREVIEW Study. International journal of behavioral medicine, 25 (6), 682-692. 10.1007/s12529-018-9744-x
  • Christensen, P., Larsen, T. M., Westerterp-Plantenga, M., Macdonald, I., Martinez, J. A., Handjiev, S., ... Astrup, A. (2018). Men and women respond differently to rapid weight loss: Metabolic outcomes of a multi‐centre intervention study after a low‐energy diet in 2500 overweight, individuals with pre‐diabetes (PREVIEW). Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 20 (12), 2840-2851. 10.1111/dom.13466
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Mitchell, C. J., D'Souza RF, Mitchell, S. M., Figueiredo, V. C., Miller, B. F., Hamilton, K. L., ... Durainayagam, B. (2018). Impact of dairy protein during limb immobilization and recovery on muscle size and protein synthesis; a randomized controlled trial. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 124 (3), 717-728. 10.1152/japplphysiol.00803.2017
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Randall D'Souza, Sarah Mitchell, David Cameron-Smith
  • Poppitt, S. D., Budgett, S. C., MacGibbon, A. K., Quek, S.-Y., Kindleysides, S., & Wiessing, K. R. (2018). Effects of lipid emulsion particle size on satiety and energy intake: a randomised cross-over trial. European journal of clinical nutrition, 72 (3), 349-357. 10.1038/s41430-017-0016-7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephanie Budgett, Siew-Young Quek
  • Paulino Silvestre, M. F., McMahon, C., Goode, J. P., Vlaskovsky, P., Tay, A., & Poppitt, S. D. (2018). The role of glucagon in weight loss-mediated metabolic improvement: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 19 (2), 233-253. 10.1111/obr.12631
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Møller G, Rikardt Andersen, J., Ritz, C., P Silvestre, M., Navas-Carretero, S., Jalo, E., ... Martinez, J. A. (2018). Higher Protein Intake Is Not Associated with Decreased Kidney Function in Pre-Diabetic Older Adults Following a One-Year Intervention-A Preview Sub-Study. Nutrients, 10 (1).10.3390/nu10010054
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Silvestre, M. P., Jiang, Y., Volkova, K., Chisholm, H., Lee, W., & Poppitt, S. D. (2017). Evaluating FINDRISC as a screening tool for type 2 diabetes among overweight adults in the PREVIEW: NZ cohort. Primary Care Diabetes, 11 (6), 561-569. 10.1016/j.pcd.2017.07.003
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre, Yannan Jiang, Hannah Chisholm
  • Yip, W. C., Sequeira, I. R., Plank, L. D., & Poppitt, S. D. (2017). Prevalence of pre-diabetes across ethnicities: A review of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)for classification of dysglycaemia. Nutrients, 9 (11)10.3390/nu9111273
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wilson Yip, Ivana Sequeira, Lindsay Plank


Contact details

Alternative contact

(9) 373 7599

extn: 83062

Primary office location

COMMERCE A - Bldg 114
Level 1, Room 114
New Zealand

Web links