Dr Teresa Gontijo de Castro


I am a senior research fellow and have been working for the University of Auckland since 2015. I am currently contributing to the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics (School of Population Health) and to the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics (School of Medical Sciences). From 2006-2014 I was employed as an adjunct professor at two Brazilian universities (the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul). I am a dietitian with a masters degree and a PhD concluded in the area of Nutrition and Public Health (2007,University of Sao Paulo, Brazil). I have expertise in nutrition and public health, with emphasis in nutritional epidemiology and in the monitoring of the nutritional status of populations and of food environments. I have also developed additional expertise in nutrition and epidemiology of indigenous groups.

Research | Current

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

a. Project: Growth monitoring Aotearoa: Scoping a national system for tamariki and rangatahi (Principal Investigator).

A Better Start and Cure Kids funding round 2021 (Healthy Weight)


b. Projects on monitoring of food environments.

Department of Nutrition

c. Projects on  maternal, infant and childhood nutrition, mostly using data from the Growing up in New Zealand birth cohort study.


School of Nursing

d.Contributions to the Youth-19 Rangatahi Smart Survey


Teaching | Current


Guest Lecturer in POPLHLTH305: Community Nutrition (2018; 2019; 2020; 2021)


Postgraduate Level

  • Year: 2008/2-Postgraduate Programme of Epidemiology, UFRGS, Brazil: Nutritional Epidemiology (Epi 67)
  • Year: 2008/2- Postgraduate Programme of Epidemiology, UFRGS, Brazil:Journal Club: Health and Nutrition of Indigenous Populations (EPI66)

Undergraduate Level

  • Years: 2009/2; 2010-2014 (both semesters)-UFMG, Brazil: Practical Integrative Activity C (ENB 028)
  • Years: 2009/2; 2010-2014 (both semesters) - UFMG, Brazil: Practical Monitored Activity C (EFM 049)
  • Years: 2009-2014 (both semesters) - UFMG, Brazil:Internship in Nutrition and Public Health (EFM 035)
  • Year: 2011/2- UFMG, Brazil: Epidemiology and Health of Indigenous Populations (Topics I: EFM045)
  • Year: 2009/2- UFMG, Brazil: Food and Nutritional Surveillance (Topics III: EFM045)
  • Years: 2007/1; 2008/1-UFRGS, Brazil:  Public Health Nutrition (MED 05007)
  • Years: 2007-2008 (both semesters)- UFRGS, Brazil:Internship in Collective Health and Nutrition
  • Year: 2007 (both Semesters)- UFRGS, Brazil: Fundamentals of Nutrition for the Care in Nursing

Postgraduate supervision

Postgraduate Students- In Progress

  • Masters -Nutrition and Dietetics (Sanaz Samadian). School of Medical Sciences. Ultra-processed foods and drinks intake during the preschool years in the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort study.
  • Masters- Nutrition and Dietetics (Angela Lee). School of Medical Sciences. Dietary changes of partners during pregnancy and associations with maternal diet and other lifestyle changes during pregnancy: analyses within the Growing up in New Zealand cohort study.
  • Masters-Public Health (Jianzhen Zhang). School of Population Health. New Zealand food supply: presence of ingredients containing trans-fatty acids in 2019 and changes across 2015-2019.

Postgraduate Students- Succcessful completions

  • Masters in Public Health (Sarah Dodd): Household purchase volumes of non-alcoholic beverages:An examination of recent purchase volumes of sugary beverages, artificially sweetened beverages and unsweetened beverages in New Zealand and other high-income countries. School of Population Health, University of Auckland. January 2021.
  • Masters-Nutrition and Public Health (Sara Ferreira):Prevalence and maternal factors associated with no timely introduction of complementary feeding within the New Zealand birth cohort Growing Up in New Zealand. Postgraduate Programme Nutrition and Public Health, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). November 2020.
  • PhD (Anabele Pires): Health and sociodemographic profile of under five years old and women in reproductive age, indigenous Pataxó from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Postgraduate Programme of Translational Medicine, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. September 2018. 
  • PhD -Sandwich period (Juliana Araujo Teixeira):Folic acid intake and the developmental origins of health and disease: a comparison between birth cohort studies in Brazil and New Zealand. University of Auckland. December 2017. 
  • Masters (Camila Mazzetti):Nutritional status of the indigenous Pataxó from 05 villages from Minas Gerais, Brazil.Postgraduate Programme of Nursing, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. February 2015.
  • PhD (Ema Fernandes): Childhood malnutrition determinants in the Commune of Bom Jesus, Angola, Africa: Application of a hierarchical model. Postgraduate Programme of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.October 2014. 
  • Masters (Patricia Dame): Food and Nutritional Surveillance System –SISVAN- of the Rio Grande do Sul State: coverage of the system, data reliability and nutritional status of children. Postgraduate Programme of Epidemiology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. December 2009. 
  • Masters (Laura Barufaldi):Body Mass Index and values of bioelectrical impedance of children and adolescents indigenous Kaingang, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Postgraduate Programme of Epidemiology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. December 2008. 


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.
  • Gontijo de Castro, T., Gerritsen, S., Teixeira Araujo, J., Pillai, A., Marchioni, D., Grant, C., ... Wall, C. R. (2020). Adherence to national infant feeding guidelines is associated with child overweight/obesity and central obesity at age 54- months: results from the Growing up in New Zealand cohort study. Paper presented at ISBNPA 2020 General Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand. 17 June - 20 June 2020. ISBNPA XChange.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah Gerritsen, Avinesh Pillai, Cameron Grant, Susan Morton, Clare Wall
  • Gontijo de Castro, T., Gerritsen, S., Morton, S., Napier, C., & Wall, C. (2020). International infant feeding indicators: findings from the GUiNZ birth cohort study. Paper presented at World Public Health Nutrition Conference 2020, Brisbane, Australia. 31 March - 3 April 2020. WPHN Congress 2020- Abstract Book. (pp. 1). Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51487
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah Gerritsen, Susan Morton, Carin Napier
  • Gontijo de Castro, T., Mackay, S., Eyles, H., Young, L., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2019). Non-Alcoholic Ready-to-Drink Beverages in New Zealand: Snapshot of Availability, Serve Size and Sugar Content in 2019. Paper presented at 2019 Annual Meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand, Napier, New Zealand. 28 November - 29 November 2019. Proceedings, 2019, NSNZ 2019. (pp. 1). 10.3390/proceedings2019037007
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sally Mackay, Helen Eyles, Cliona Ni Mhurchu
  • Mackay, S., Ni Mhurchu, C., Swinburn, B., Eyles, H., Young, L., & Gontijo de Castro, T. (2019). State of the Food Supply: New Zealand 2019. Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland.10.17608/k6.auckland.9636710.v1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sally Mackay, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Helen Eyles, Leanne Young
  • Teixeira, J. A., Castro, T. G., Wall, C. R., Marchioni, D. M., Berry, S., Morton, S. M., & Grant, C. C. (2019). Effects of folic acid food fortification scenarios on the folate intake of a multi-ethnic pregnant population. Public health nutrition, 22 (4), 738-749. 10.1017/s1368980018003026
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cameron Grant, Clare Wall, Susan Morton, Paul Hofman
  • Castro, T. G., Grant, C. C., wall, C. R., Welch, M., Marks, E., Fleming, C. J., ... Morton, S. M. (2019). Breastfeeding indicators and associations with maternal sociodemographic characteristics: Results from Growing up in New Zealand cohort study. Paper presented at Conference of the New Zealand Lactant Consultants Association 2019, Auckland, New Zealand. 22 February - 23 February 2019. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cameron Grant, Emma Marks, Susan Morton
  • Chagas, C. A., Castro, T. G. D., Leite, M. S., Viana, M. A. C. B. M., Beinner, M. A., & Pimenta, A. M. (2019). [Estimated prevalence of hypertension and associated factors in Krenak indigenous adults in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil]. Cadernos de saude publica, 36 (1)10.1590/0102-311x00206818
  • Castro, T. G., & Cardoso, M. A. (2019). Lipideos (Lipids). In M. A. Cardoso, F. B. Scagliusi (Eds.) Nutricao e Dietetica (Nutrition and Dietetics) (pp. 47-60). Rio de Janeiro- Brazil: Guanabara Koogan. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47375


Contact details

Primary office location

8 GRAFTON ROAD - Bldg 219
Level B, Room B01
New Zealand

Web links