Shining the light on world diabetes day

21 November 2017

Professor Jim Mann
Professor Jim Mann

Healthier Lives Director Professor Jim Mann recently featured in two articles in the Otago Daily Times about diabetes and translating healthy eating messages.

On Tuesday, 14 November Dunedin launched a day of diabetes-awareness activities that saw the city lit blue to coincide with World Diabetes Day. The day featured opportunities to test your blood sugar levels, learn more about diabetes, and hear several talks about the latest diabetes-related research. Speaking at the event Professor Mann praised Dunedin as one of the leading centres for diabetes research in New Zealand, but warned of the diabetes epidemic facing our country.

Read more about this event: Buildings lit in blue for diabetes awareness (

Lisa Te Morenga
Dr Lisa Te Morenga

With low-carb diets currently enjoying attention in the media, carbohydrates also featured as a topic of conversation on the day. In an interview with the Otago Daily Times Professor Mann spoke about the enormous amount of evidence showing that whole grain carbohydrates are beneficial, not just for diabetes but for heart disease and cancer as well. However as food manufacturers change their processes and products new research needs to look at the health-related consequences of processing when it comes to whole grain products.

A new research project led by Dr Lisa Te Morenga*, Healthier Lives co-principal investigator, hopes to answer this question by investigating whether the type of processing done to whole grain products influences the health benefits.

*This research project is funded by Riddet CoRE, the Otago Southland Diabetes Research Trust and the Baking Industry and Flour Millers Research Trusts.

Read more from the interview, and about the research project here: Processing healthy eating messages (

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