Dietary intake methodology in the Pacific Islands | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dietary intake methodology in the Pacific Islands

Project background:

In the Pacific Islands, where diet-related, non-communicable diseases are increasing, there is interest in understanding the current state of dietary assessment methodology. As dietary intake information is used to inform food and nutrition policies and practice, accurate collection, analysis, and interpretation of dietary assessment data relies on robust methods. A greater understanding of dietary assessment can strengthen the evidence on nutrition and health in Pacific Island settings and inform future research.

In this work, we are scoping the available literature to identify and describe the methods used to collect and analyse dietary intake data in residents of Pacific Island countries.

This study is already underway. The SRS student will be contributing to the scoping review.

There is flexibility in the days/times that the student can work, and this will be negotiated at the start of the ACPIR SRS.

Background information that may be useful for students considering this project:

This manuscript provides some background information:

Craven, Dana Louise; Vogliano, Chris; Horsey, Bridget; Underhill, Steven; Burkhart, Sarah. Dietary assessment methodology and reporting in Pacific Island research: a scoping review protocol. JBI Evidence Synthesis: May 2021 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 1157-1163 doi: 10.11124/JBIES-20-00033

Primary supervisor: Dr Sarah Burkhart

Dr Burkhart is a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at USC and a member of the ACPIR Leadership team. Sarah’s research uses a food systems lens to explore food security and food choice in the Pacific Islands. Working with Pacific partners, academics and stakeholders, Sarah is interested in nutrition education and food provision in Pacific Island school settings and understanding determinants of food security across Pacific Island food systems, with a focus on food environments and food choice.

HDR student mentor: Ms Bridget Horsey

Ms Horsey is a PhD Candidate and has a Bachelor of Nutrition (Honours). Bridget’s PhD focuses on developing a food literacy framework for the Pacific Islands region. Bridget has been working on this project and has experience in undertaking dietary assessment in Pacific Island settings.

External collaborators: Project team.

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Burkhart

Students will be asked to assist the workings of this project in several ways, with tasks such as:

  • Assisting with the scoping review screening, data extraction and analysis
  • Consulting with stakeholders
  • Developing a manuscript for publication


Deliverables will include

  • Contribution to the screening and extraction process
  • Contribution to a draft of a manuscript outlining the process of tool development
  • A final presentation of the work undertaken

This project would suit a student with background understanding of, and an interest in food systems, nutrition/health, food production, education and policy.

In addition to the general ACPIR-SRS eligibility criteria, undergraduate students need to have successfully completed at least the requirements of first year for the Bachelor of Nutrition program or the Bachelor of Dietetics program for this project.

In addition to the general ACPIR-SRS selection criteria, personal attributes of collegiality, integrity, teamwork and reliability, attention to detail, critical thinking and initiative are required for this project.

Applicants are required to submit a resume and a brief statement outlining their interest in the project and how this fits with their career/research aspirations. Please note that applicants may be invited to take part in an interview as part of the selection process.