Who am i?
My name is Katerina Belogianni, I am a registered dietitian and nutritionist and I am currently undertaking my PhD at the Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University, London and St. George's, University of London. Over the last five years my work has been dedicated to improve the dietary habits of young and vulnerable people, such as schoolchildren and university students.
A short summary of the projectWhy university students?
Many students, especially those away from home, find difficulties in making the right food choices, decrease their level of physical activity and often gain weight while studying at university. Evidence (such as this study published in The Lancet) has shown that following a healthy diet at a young age is associated with reduced disease risk and improved health in later adulthood.What will be the benefits?
Students will learn information about the nutrient content of many food groups, whether these foods are beneficial or harmful to health, as well as tips and advice on how to make the right food choices inside and outside the university campus. The overall aim is to help students adopt a healthy lifestyle that could follow for the rest of their lives. In addition, students will have the chance to get an estimate of their health by measuring indicators such as blood glucose, blood pressure, body fat and muscle mass, using state-of-the-art equipment.How nutrition knowledge will be increased ?
Students will get access to web-based educational materials, developed especially for this project by a multidisciplinary team of Kingston University. These tools include a website and online quiz games, and students will be able to extract information from the website or go and play against others to improve their knowledge score. Students will have the opportunity to interact with me (as the main researcher) to ask questions and get feedback on their results. Pedometers will also distributed to record their daily steps.Why is the project unique?
Very few attempts have taken place in the UK to improve the dietary habits of university students. Also, the World Health Organization has highlighted the importance of promoting health and well-being of students in university settings .Are there any ethical considerations?
The project has been reviewed and received approval by the Faculty Research Ethics Committee, ensuring that all participants will be treated equally and respectfully, excluding any risk of physical harm or emotional distress, while all data will be kept safe and confidential. The project is open to all students, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race or religion.
Where will the money go?
If more money than the target are raised will be used to disseminate the benefits of the project (conferences, other universities, etc).
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