Published on 5 June 2014
Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are using latest techniques for assessing elite sports people to examine women’s body changes during pregnancy.
A USC Nutrition and Dietetics team has started a research project to determine what body changes are normal for pregnant women and how the changes are influenced by the women’s metabolism, the food they eat and the physical activity they do.
Currimundi’s Jude Maher, who leads USC’s Bachelor of Nutrition program and lectures in Nutrition and Dietetics, said the team was currently recruiting Sunshine Coast women in their first trimester of pregnancy to get involved in the project.
“The research is using state-of-the-art equipment and is being conducted at USC’s Sippy Downs campus to further our understanding of how energy metabolism, diet and physical activity relate to body composition changes in pregnancy,” she said.
The researchers include USC Senior Lecturer Dr Gary Slater, an internationally-recognised sports dietitian whose pioneering work in physique assessment among elite sports people is being adapted to this pregnancy study.
Dr Slater said: “Participants have the unique opportunity to be monitored throughout their pregnancy using best practice techniques.”
It’s a double opportunity for another team member, Nutrition and Dietetics Lecturer Dr Libby Swanepoel, who is participating while pregnant with her third child.
Dr Swanepoel, of Sunshine Beach, said, “It would have been great to have had access to these facilities during my first two pregnancies!”
The project offers a range of benefits for female participants, including individual information on how their body composition changes during pregnancy.
— Julie Schomberg