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Charity

The University of Newcastle

Project

Nutrition For You

Region

National

Funding

$893,750

Funding Dates

January 2018 - December 2020

The issue

In Australia, poor dietary habits are now the modifiable risk factor accounting for the greatest proportion of our national burden of disease. 42% of females and 63% of males aged between 25-34 years of age are overweight or obese, and young people are prematurely developing preventable chronic diseases, such as, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

In combination with other lifestyle risks such as tobacco smoking, risky drinking and lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating habits will place young people at greater risk of developing a chronic disease at an earlier age than previous generations, and in turn, will place significant strain on the healthcare system and individual wellbeing.

The University of Newcastle is committed to supporting researchers and partnering with industry in order to solve real-world problems. The University's Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition (PRCPAN) delivers evidence-based and technology-driven programs to improve nutrition and lifestyle behaviours. Their project team has extensive experience in conceptualising, developing, delivering and evaluating e-Health interventions that make an impact, helping people to improve dietary patterns.

The project

University of Newcastle will develop and deliver the Nutrition for You (Nu4U) program, a web-based personalised nutrition platform that helps motivate and support young Australian adults to adopt healthy eating behaviours, reducing the risk of preventable chronic diseases. 

The program will achieve this by providing personalised dietary feedback and advice from trusted health experts on how to improve dietary patterns; streamlined web access to their existing evidence-based and popular dietary assessment tools - The Healthy Eating Quiz and the Australian Eating Survey - and provide personalised feedback and suggestions about how to develop and sustain healthier food habits. 

The project aims to reach an estimate of 60,000 online users per year. 

The impact

Adopting healthy eating habits at a young age will help prevent many chronic diseases, yet young people are the least likely to seek dietary advice from qualified professionals. Instead, they tend to rely on easy-to-access sources including media, friends and Google for nutrition information.

With the delivery of an innovative and accessible program that provides personalised nutrition assessments and feedback and regular support for young people, individuals are more likely to attempt to eat healthier as they seek advice from trusted health experts from the comfort of their own home.  

The Nutrition For You online platform is due to launch in early 2019, and will be a one stop shop to access dietary feedback through the Healthy Eating Quiz and the Australian Eating Survey.

 

Want to know more? Meet Lee Ashton, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle who is on a mission to help Aussies eat and live healthier lives thanks to our support of the Nu4U program:

The survey was spot on. I ticked all the boxes I felt was as close to my eating habits as possible. I absolutely 100% will be making changes based on the report. I am going to print it off and start these changes immediately. I really am happy to have done this thank you.

Australian Eating Survey Participant