Study to determine how Aussie blokes shape up

Sep 1 2015

Angelica Quatela

Nutrition researcher Angelica Quatela is studying the health and diets of average Joes.

Reckon you’re the Typical Aussie Male or do you know one who fits the bill? Nutrition researchers at the University of Newcastle need your help with a new study into men’s body shape, size and composition.

From miners to mechanics, salesmen to students, they are recruiting 150 blokes aged 18-44 to volunteer for a series of physical measurements that will help determine male health status and metabolic parameters.

It’s a follow-up to last year’s Average Australian Woman study conducted by Dr Amanda Patterson, which investigated the same age group of pre-menopausal women. Statistics suggest that a higher percentage of men are obese or overweight in Australia, with prevalence rates increasing.

PhD student Angelica Quatela, who is supervised by Dr Patterson, Dr Lesley MacDonald-Wicks, Professor Robin Callister and Dr Leanne Brown, says there will be some extra measurements for men.

“It won’t require a great deal of time; men just have to fill out a simple online questionnaire then attend an 80-minute session at the Callaghan Campus or in Tamworth,” Mrs Quatela said. “The participants will receive the interpreted results of their body measurements, including fat percentages and muscle mass, body mass index, resting metabolic rate, blood pressure and a finger stick blood measurement of lipid and glucose levels.

“Generally these go beyond the measurements taken regularly by GPs so the men will have more extensive information about their current metabolism and health.”

The project also aims to explore men’s breakfast tastes and habits.

“Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day but in reality there is not enough evidence to confirm that,” Mrs Quatela added. “We will be comparing data between breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers to check for differences in their metabolic and physical measurements.”

To be eligible, the Typical Aussie Bloke must not have had cosmetic surgery to alter their body shape, not have insulin-dependent diabetes or a thyroid condition, nor suffer claustrophobia. All participants will go into the draw to win a Fitbit wrist-worn activity monitor.

Contact Angelica Quatela on angelica.quatela@uon.edu.au or phone 0499 878 284.

* Angelica Quatela and Dr Amanda Paterson are members of the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, researching in conjunction with HMRI Cardiovascular Research Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the Community.