Ms Thea Werkhoven

PhD candidate, Lecturer and Tutor in Nutrition

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 9351 6260

Biographical details

Thea Werkhoven is a current postgraduate candidate in the final stages of completing a Doctor of Philosphy in the field of youth obesity and education. Qualified as a nutritionist and dietitian, Thea has been an accredited member of the Dietitian's Association of Australia since 2008. After completing her Bachelor of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) at the University of Sydney, Thea worked in a range of dietetic roles including industry, private practice and volunteering her time to Nutrition organisations such as Nutrition Australia. Thea's research and professional interests lie in chronic diesease prevention and the importance of nutrition knowledge for the general population.

While studying, Thea also been lecturing and tutoring undergraduate students,responsible for the elective "Diet and Nutrition for Health and Sport" (EDGU1003). The elective aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of nutrition including the Australian Dietary guidelines, choosing everyday foods and the link between diet and disease. It also aims to equip students with the knowledge required to improve their eating habits whether living on campus in one of the residential colleges, at home with Mum and Dad or independently.

Research interests

My interests fall broadly under the umbrella of youth obesity, nutrition knowledge, attitudes towards overweight and obesity and the roles of schools in treating or preventing youth obesity.
In order to pursue this resesarch, I have incorporated the following aspects into my study:
  • Origin and dissemination of weight based attitudes amongst health professionals and educators and the effect that these attitudes have on overweight and obese youth.
  • The importance of accurate nutrition knowledge on weight based attitudes and fat stereotyping.
  • Body acceptance, Health At Every Size and Fitness not Fatness.
  • Use of technology in tertiary education and successfully engaging students for long term knowledge acquisition and retention.

The goal of my research is to design a pedagogical intervention design that combats negative societalviews towards obesity and increases nutrition knowledge simultaneously. It is hoped that the intervention design will be applicable to all tertiary level professionals whose future roles involve health promotion and health or nutrition education.

Teaching and supervision

EDUH4054 - Issues in Nutrition Education elective, Lecturer and tutor
Faculty of Education & Social Work

2011, Semester 2 (co-lecturer)
2012, Semester 2
2013, Semester 1

EDGU1003 - Diet and Nutrition for Health and Sport elective, Course coordinator, lecturer and tutor
Faculty of Education & Social Work

2014, Semester 2 (advisor role)

2015, Summer School Program
2015, Semester 1
2015, Semester 2


2016, Summer School Program
2016, Semester 1
2016, Semester 2

2017, Summer School Program (coordinator)
2017, Semester 1 (coordinator)
2017, Winter School Program(coordinator)

In 2016 I co-supervised within the undergraduate Honours program offererd in the Faculty, working to provide assistance with submission of research proposals, the completion of ethics applications and resulting data collection.

Associations

Professional member of the Dietitian's Association of Australia.

Consultant dietitian for Diabetic Living Magazine (Pacific Magazines).

Awards and honours

Winner of the Best Research Paper Award, June 2016 for the paper titled 'The necessity of addressing the nutrition knowledge and health related attitudes held by pre-service professionals'.

Twitter: @DietitianThea

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Dudley, D. (2017). Australian tertiary students' attitudes towards youth obesity in educational institutions. European Physical Education Review, Online first. [More Information]
  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Dudley, D. (2016). Narrative review of pedagogical interventions on nutrition knowledge and weight prejudice. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Russell, K. (2015). Weight based stereotyping amongst pre-service health and physical educators. International Journal of e-Healthcare Information Systems (IJe-HIS), 2(1), 31-38. [More Information]
  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Russell, K. (2014). Pre-service health and physical education teachers' obesity-related nutrition knowledge and food habits. Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 21(3), 2-11.

2017

  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Dudley, D. (2017). Australian tertiary students' attitudes towards youth obesity in educational institutions. European Physical Education Review, Online first. [More Information]

2016

  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Dudley, D. (2016). Narrative review of pedagogical interventions on nutrition knowledge and weight prejudice. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1-12. [More Information]

2015

  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Russell, K. (2015). Weight based stereotyping amongst pre-service health and physical educators. International Journal of e-Healthcare Information Systems (IJe-HIS), 2(1), 31-38. [More Information]

2014

  • Werkhoven, T., Cotton, W., Russell, K. (2014). Pre-service health and physical education teachers' obesity-related nutrition knowledge and food habits. Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 21(3), 2-11.

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