Can changing eating habits delay the onset of diabetes?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Eating habits for office workers

A Centre for Exercise and Nutrition study is exploring the link between diet and health problems impacting on desk-bound Australians.

An Australian Catholic University study aims to discover a link between changing eating patterns during prolonged sitting and reducing the potential of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers in the Centre for Exercise and Nutrition, part of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research (MMIHR), are investigating how the distribution of energy throughout the day impacts on blood sugar levels during extended periods of inactivity.

Centre Director Professor John Hawley said while there has been significant research showing prolonged inactivity can have adverse health effects, there is limited research into the impact of changing eating patterns.

“The interaction between diet and activity patterns throughout a day are poorly understood,” Professor Hawley said.

“This initial study aims to determine if the timing of nutrient intake can alleviate some of the deleterious effects of prolonged sitting.”

Overseeing the study, Professor Hawley said the link between inactivity, poor eating habits and health problems resulting from obesity is a hot topic in the community, with research such as this playing a vital role improving understanding and education around activity and nutrition.

“Our study is going to use state of the art technology to measure blood glucose throughout the day and through sleep to ascertain the proposed benefits of eating more food earlier in the day and less in the evening,” Professor Hawley said.

“This study will be the first in a series of studies, where we want to incorporate breaking sedentary activity with real-life nutrition strategies.”

The study is seeking male and female participants aged between 45-65 years who are overweight or obese, pre-diabetic and live a sedentary lifestyle (very little, to no exercise) that includes prolonged periods of sitting.

The study continues the collaborative partnership between MMIHR and Professor David Dunstan (jointly appointed at the MMIHR and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute), with the support of funding from European research foundation Novo Nordisk.

For further information regarding the study, potential participants are encouraged to visit the participants' page on the MMIHR website and the Centre for Exercise and Nutrition website.