Population analysis of human diet and nutrition

Understanding dietary factors in context

Population analysis of human diet and nutrition Describing populations the phenomonology of disease Solution design and implementation Biology in a societal and environmental context Nutrition Physical activity, exercise and energy expenditure Complex systems and sustainability Complex systems and sustainability Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander health

Experiments on human nutrition – which typically involve varying a single dietary factor while keeping others constant – have suggested that a range of dietary factors might influence human health. However, human nutrient intake occurs not in the simplified setting of a laboratory but within a complex environment where multiple variables interact to influence eating habits and health.

A new cross-disciplinary research group established by the Charles Perkins Centre will take this context into account as it investigates how geographic, temporal, social and ethnic variations influence nutrient intake, health and disease.

The group, led by Professor David Raubenheimer and Professor Margaret Allman-Farinelli, will draw on existing population-specific, national and global dietary surveys and estimates to examine the individual and interactive effects of various experimentally implicated dietary factors. In this way it aims to identify the actual roles of these dietary factors within real-life settings.

Since energy expenditure makes up the other part of the body’s ‘energy equation’ – which is a major determinant of obesity and associated disease – the group will also examine the influence of physical activity and exercise.

The societal contexts of dietary and physical activity patterns will also be taken into account, making the group’s study a comprehensive analysis of the contextual role of dietary factors in the biology of human health and disease, by a cross-disciplinary team with a uniquely powerful combination of expertise.

The collaboration team



Professor Stephen Simpson

ARC Laureate Fellow

Academic Director

Charles Perkins Centre

Associate Professor Margaret Allman-Farinelli

Associate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics

School of Molecular Bioscience

Dr Anna Rangan

Senior Lecturer

Nutrition and Metabolism

School of Molecular Bioscience

Professor Adrian Bauman

Sesquicentenary Professor in Public Health

Director of Prevention Research Collaboration

Sydney School of Public Health