Angela Berrill, NZRD
for something nutrishus
I'm very pleased to include our first New Zealand dietitian interview. Angela definitely wears many hats in the field and reminds us to narrow our focus (aka learn to say 'no') as our careers advance. March also happens to be Nutrition Month in North America, so it's a great time to continue sharing these features with you and including more global dietitians is always exciting!
Why did you become a RD?
I have always enjoyed food and the way that it can both nourish our bodies and soul. Becoming a dietitian seemed like a natural progression, although I must admit my career path hasn’t been quite so ‘traditional’.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I work is so many different areas, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all! At ABC, we have a team of about 6 nutritionists and dietitians who work across a range of different nutrition settings including, private practice, food industry consultancy, workplace wellness programmes, media, and more recently working in the community as part of various Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) contracts we administer nutrition services under. Until the end of 2017, I also held a part-time role for a couple of years as the National Nutrition Advisor for the New Zealand Heart Foundation, so there was a bit of public health and health promotion work thrown in there too!
How would you explain what you do? What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
It’s varied, that’s for sure. This year I have decided to focus solely on ABC and young family so I tend to do all the business-side of things – admin, finance, marketing, management, HR, social media, blogs, resource and website development and so on. While I don’t tend to work ‘in the business’ so much these days, if a project sparks my interest then I may take a more active, rather than advisory role. I also do a bit of nutrition writing for various publications and websites, and act as a media dietitian whenever the need arises.
What has been your career path?
Once I finished my training as a dietitian, I worked as a weight loss consultant, before taking up an exciting role in Food Industry. I had also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management alongside my nutrition qualifications, so this was the perfect opportunity to combine both skill sets. After about 4 years working in Industry, I set up my own consultancy business, ABC Nutrition, in Auckland New Zealand.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
None other than my Bachelor’s degrees in Consumer and Applied Science (Human Nutrition) and Commerce (Marketing Management) as well as my post-graduate qualification in Dietetics, all from Otago University in New Zealand.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
The last 5 years has been an incredibly challenging time for our profession with so much nutrition-nonsense in the media and online. In my ideal world, people would turn to the qualified nutrition professionals for dietary advice and become warier of what they read in the media, wellness bloggers, and anyone else who gives unsubstantiated nutrition advice.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
We are not the Food Police!
What would you like people to know about RDs?
Don’t assume that we live on carrots and celery sticks. I always have to laugh when I’m out for dinner with colleagues and there’s often fries, good wine and always dessert involved. We are in the profession usually because we love food, not because we love diets!
More about Angela:
Personal website: www.angelaberrill.com
Business website: abcnutrition
LinkedIn: Angela Berrill (NZRD)