Professor Sally Diana Poppitt



Appointed as Professor of 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. 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 is also Principle Investigator within the New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) for Food and Nutrition hosted by the Riddet Institute. Previously she was the academic Chair of the dairy primary growth partnership (PGP) program, a collaboration between MPI and the dairy industry. 

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. Sally has a particular interest in the mechanisms which underpin appetite regulation, the control of food intake and body weight; and the role of diet in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. 


Director, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland

Principle Investigator (PI), Metabolic Health, High Value Nutrition (HVN) program

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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Huttunen-Lenz, M., Raben, A., Meinert-Larsen, T., Drummen, M., Macdonald, I., Martínez JA, ... Muirhead, R. (2020). Social-cognitive factors associated with lifestyle intervention attrition after successful weight loss among participants with prediabetes: the PREVIEW Study. Public Health Nursing, 37 (3), 393-404. 10.1111/phn.12718
  • Swindell, N., Rees, P., Fogelholm, M., Drummen, M., MacDonald, I., Martinez, J. A., ... Bogdanov, G. (2020). Compositional analysis of the associations between 24-h movement behaviours and cardio-metabolic risk factors in overweight and obese adults with pre-diabetes from the PREVIEW study: cross-sectional baseline analysis. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 17 (1)10.1186/s12966-020-00936-5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nick Gant, Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Cuparencu, C., Rinnan, A., Silvestre, M. P., Poppitt, S. D., Raben, A., & Dragsted, L. O. (2020). The anserine to carnosine ratio: an excellent discriminator between white and red meats consumed by free-living overweight participants of the PREVIEW study. European Journal of Nutrition, Online first10.1007/s00394-020-02230-3
  • Poppitt, S. D. (2019). Milk proteins and human health. In H. Singh, M. Boland (Eds.) Milk Proteins: from Expression to Food (pp. 651-669). London, UK: Academic Press. 10.1016/B978-0-12-815251-5.00018-9
  • Ramzan, F., D'Souza RF, Durainayagam, B. R., Milan, A. M., Markworth, J. F., Miranda-Soberanis, V., ... Mitchell, C. J. (2019). Circulatory miRNA biomarkers of metabolic syndrome. Acta diabetologica10.1007/s00592-019-01406-6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Farha Ramzan, David Cameron-Smith, Amber Milan, Ivana Sequeira
  • Lim, J. J., & Poppitt, S. D. (2019). How Satiating Are the 'Satiety' Peptides: A Problem of Pharmacology versus Physiology in the Development of Novel Foods for Regulation of Food Intake. Nutrients, 11 (7).10.3390/nu11071517
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jia Jiet Lim
  • Wu, Z. E., Kruger, M. C., Cooper, G. J. S., Poppitt, S. D., & Fraser, K. (2019). Tissue-Specific Sample Dilution: An Important Parameter to Optimise Prior to Untargeted LC-MS Metabolomics. Metabolites, 9 (7).10.3390/metabo9070124
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Garth Cooper
  • Sluik, D., Brouwer-Brolsma, E. M., Berendsen, A. A. M., Mikkila, V., Poppitt, S. D., Silvestre, M. P., ... Raben, A. (2019). Protein intake and the incidence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in 4 population-based studies: the PREVIEW project. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109 (5), 1310-1318. 10.1093/ajcn/nqy388
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre


Contact details

Alternative contact

(9) 373 7599

extn: 83062

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 423
New Zealand

Web links