Eating behaviours and dietary intake

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Eating behaviours and dietary intake

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Characteristics of the food environment and determinants of food quality, eating behaviours and dietary intake in individuals and populations

Our research is focused on nutrient profiling and food labelling, best practice in dietary assessment, influences on food choice and eating behaviours, and food supply sustainability (or sustainability of the food supply).

Key projects include:

Food provision for elite level competition – Associate Professor Fiona Pelly and Dr Sarah Burkhart

This project has spanned over the past 15 years and encompasses a broad range of areas that have investigated food provision for Olympic and Commonwealth athletes. Specific focus areas include dietary regimens of athletes, food for sports performance, evaluation of the food environment, input of sports dietitians, sustainability and nutrition labelling. To read more on this research area please refer to:

  • Pelly F, Meyer NL, Pearce J, Burkhart SJ, Burke LM. (2014). Evaluation of food provision and nutrition support at the London 2012 Olympic Games: The opinion of sports nutrition experts International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2014 24 (6), p.674-683.

  • Burkhart S, Pelly F, Beyond sports nutrition The diverse role of dietitians at a major competition event. J Hum Nutr & Diet. 2014 Vol 27, No. 6, p.639-647.

  • Burkhart S, Pelly, F, Athletes use and opinion of point of choice nutrition labels at a major international competition. Appetite, 2013 70, p.6-13.

  • Burkhart S, Pelly F, Athletes’ opinions of food provision at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games: the influence of culture and sport. Int. J. Sport Nut. Exerc. Metab. 2013 23: p.11-23.

  • Pelly F, O’Connor H, Denyer, G, and Caterson I. Evolution of food provision at the summer Olympic Games: an historical perspective. Nutr Rev. 2011 69(6): p.321–332.

  • Pelly F, O’Connor H, Denyer, G, and Caterson I. Catering for the athletes’ village at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: The role of sports dietitians. Int. J. Sports Nutr. Ex. Metab. 2009 19, p.340-354.

Moving feast – Angela Cleary, Dr Jude Maher, Dr Hattie Wright

The Moving Feast is a multidisciplinary, multi-faceted project lead by the Nutrition and Dietetics discipline. This project aims to develop a local work integrated placement opportunity that will benefit both USC and the local community. The overarching long term vision for The Moving Feast is to create a community supported and sustainable food system on campus and embed it into USC culture. Thereby addressing the 2011-2015 USC strategic plan to develop USC for a sustainable future. The project also works towards students developing the graduate attribute of sustainability-focused, responding to ecological, social and economic imperatives.

The project is based on key principles of public health and wellbeing, and provides students with a real world exemplar of how to apply theory to practice, work with a wide range of stakeholders, utilise collaborative approaches, apply strategic thinking and develop graduate attributes such as sustainability-focused, communication, and being engaged.

The project has grown to become a multidisciplinary initiative with staff and student volunteers representing a wide range of disciplines including sustainability, engineering, health, science and design. Volunteers have been exposed to an outdoor learning environment, engaging not just their head but also hands and heart - experiences that are relevant to life beyond university. Student honours and placement projects within Dietetics, Communication, Engineering and Occupational Therapy have contributed to the development of this project.

Current research studies linked to this project include investigating volunteer engagement, capacity analysis in community gardens, soil quality and produce, and occupation as a means and an end.

Nutrient profiling and food labelling – Associate Professor Fiona Pelly, Sheri Cooper, Dr Libby Swanepoel, Dr Sarah Burkhart

We have a number of studies that are currently underway on this topic, including validation of nutrient profiling systems, the validity of the Health Star Rating, consumer opinion of the Health Star Rating, dietitians perception of the healthiness of food, labelling and marketing of foods targeted at children, and use of POC labelling for large scale catering.

  • Meloncelli, N. Pelly, F., Cooper, S (2015). The nutritional quality of a selection of children’s packaged food available in Australia. Nutrition and Dietetics / Article in press (early view)
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