This project will undertake preliminary work to inform future grants and development of a personalised web-platform that supports pregnant women to optimise their dietary intakes. If a woman’s diet is compromised in pregnancy, evidence from the developmental origins of health and disease hypothesis indicates the foetus is programmed for a greater lifetime risk of chronic disease. Currently pregnant women are not routinely given advice on how to eat optimally as a way to give infants the best start to life. It is left to chance or the woman seeking information herself. This is a missed opportunity. 

Dietary interventions trials in pregnancy that can be embedded in ante-natal care are needed urgently to avert diet-related adverse maternal-infant health outcomes and improve the nation’s health. We piloted an antenatal nutrition intervention that proved feasible and acceptable but the nutrition and dietary assessment aspect was time and resource intensive. We have now developed an automated assessment of diet and can system-generate individually-tailored food and nutrient feedback reports in real-time. This means the dietetic consults could be brief but more targeted and focus on behaviour change strategies to address the report recommendations from the automated Australian Eating Survey. Women told us they want this advice from qualified health professionals, delivered in a personalised but convenient way. Our long-term goal is to attract major funding to build a web-platform with the capacity to integrate real-time assessment of nutrient intakes as part of antenatal medical nutrition therapy and test its acceptability. This would generate new knowledge on the impact of dietary change on maternal and infant health.  

Hypothesis: Providing pregnant women with a personalised medical nutrition intervention that delivers real-time feedback plus counselling from an Accredited Practising Dietitian, will reduce adverse birth outcomes for women and their babies.

The funding in 2017 went towards the research of Dr Lee Ashton. For 2018 the funding from this project will go towards our post-doctoral researcher (Dr Vanessa Shrewsbury) who will manage the preliminary work towards developing this much needed support platform. "

Researchers 

Prof Clare Collins, Dr Lee Ashton

Research Area 
Project type 
Project Grant
Year of funding 
2018