Professor Clare Collins (pictured) and Dr Megan Rollo are committed to finding nutrition research solutions to tackle Australia’s poor eating habits and the obesity epidemic, harnessing technology and the power of online platforms and the media to get the message out on a big scale.
The Nutrition and Dietetics research team at the University of Newcastle developed the Australian Eating Survey™ (AES), a series of online food frequency questionnaires to help assess an individual’s usual food and nutrient intakes. Based on the results and recommendations, the personal nutrition report helps people to make good food choices.
Initially developed as a paper-based survey, the AES has been redesigned as an easy-to-use online survey by Intersect Australia. The AES can be used by an individual to help assess dietary diversity and nutritional adequacy. It can also be used to bulk distribute questionnaires on a much larger scale, making it a useful tool for clinicians wanting to assess the food and nutrient intakes of their clients and patients, or for researchers assessing dietary intake in research participants online and across multiple locations.
Within just months of the launch more than 7,000 surveys were ordered for clinical, research and individual use. Professor Collins said: ‘This is very exciting news, people love digital storytelling and the visualisation of data about yourself helps you to interpret whether your eating habits are healthy or not. The personally tailored nutrition report helps people improve their food choice and nutrient intakes. It really revolutionises the way dietary analysis and feedback to individuals is done’.
The report provides feedback on the food and nutrient composition of your usual eating habits, including energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, alcohol, fibre and 13 vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, etc.). It also outlines aspects that match the Australian recommendations, and identifies foods that will help improve your nutrient intakes and eating habits.