Dr Libby recalls 20,000 books after use of term 'mongolism'

A popular New Zealand nutritionist has recalled 20,000 copies of her latest book after using a term widely considered to be offensive.

Dr Libby Weaver used the term 'mongolism' to refer to people with Down syndrome in her book What Am I Supposed to Eat?

The nutritionist said she learnt to use the term while at university in the 90's and was not aware that it was considered offensive until she was contacted by a reader at the weekend.

"I used a word to describe Down Syndrome that I thought was a current medically used word," she said in a statement on Monday.

"It has since been brought to my attention it is a word that is used in a derogatory way and I am mortified to have caused anyone any distress through this error, particularly children with Down Syndrome and their families."

Dr Weaver in in the process of having all copies of the book recalled from stores, and will arrange a reprint to remove the term from all future copies.

Those who have already purchased the book are able to apply for a refund.

"Please accept my deepest apology, I am so very sorry for any hurt this has caused anyone," Dr Weaver said.

Newshub.