Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Dr Melinda Hutchesson
Research Program:
Project Grant
2016 Project Grant
Project Grant
2016 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Scholarship
2015 Scholarship
Scholarship
2014 Scholarship
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

  • Understanding what influences young adults eating habits, and how they are linked to their health and well-being.
  • Developing and evaluating online programs to help young adults improve their eating habits, and their health and well-being.

Why did you get into research?

I initially became interested in how food influences our health, when my dad was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I went on to study nutrition & dietetics dietitian, and realised early on in my degree that I wanted to be the one to work out how what we eat influences our health, and what is the way to help people eat better.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

For young adults to be noticed/addressed more in the delivery of health promotion services in Australia and internationally, particularly those focusing on promoting healthy eating. I want to impact health service delivery in Australia by providing the evidence for why young adults are a priority and how we can best help them improving their eating behaviours. 

Biography

Dr Hutchesson was awarded her PhD (Nutrition and Dietetics) from the University of Newcastle in August 2011. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) in 2004. Melinda is currently a part-time (0.8FTE) research and teaching academic (Senior Lecturer) at the University of Newcastle. Since PhD completion she has held a variety of research positions, including 4 competitive postdoctoral fellowships, (National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a UON Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition (PRCPAN) Fellowship, and a UON Gladys M Brawn Career Development Fellowship (current)). She is one of 10 principal investigators for the UON’s Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, and deputy theme lead for Nutrition & Dietetics research.

Dr Hutchesson’s research focuses on the development, delivery and evaluation of weight management and lifestyle interventions (nutrition and physical activity) to reduce the risk of chronic disease risk factors (e.g. obesity). Her specific focus has been on the development of targeted and tailored interventions for young adults and the use of eHealth technologies to deliver these interventions.

Melinda has a strong upward trajectory, publishing many journal articles, and receiving competitive funding from agencies such as NHMRC and the National Heart Foundation.

Future Focus

Two major programs of work over the coming years will focus on:

  1. University students specifically, as an underserved population of young adults.
  2. Young women at increased risk of chronic disease (such as heart disease) due to their pregnancy history. For example, women with a history of pre-eclampsia.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Dietetics
  • Dietary assessment
  • Evidence synthesis

Affiliations

Downloads

ABC Newcastle interview with Kia Handley - 17 September 2019

2016

eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health
Project Grant
Description:

This grant will support our eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health.

more
Evaluation of a type 2 diabetes risk reduction program for women with recent gestational diabetes
Project Grant
Description:

Pregnancy is like a stress test, revealing a woman's long term risk to developing Type II Diabetes. Post delivery is the ideal time to address lifestyle risk factors but many women with gestational diabetes report a lack of support at this crucial time.

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2015

eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health
Project Grant
Description:

$10K to support our eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health. We have a trial approved through ethics, but no $$ to test the impact on dietary intake, hence this will fund this pilot study.
 

more
Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Medical Research Postgraduate Scholarship
Scholarship
Researchers:

Ms Lisa Spencer, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Megan Rollo, Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Description:

The aim of my PhD is to investigate effective and innovative approaches to managing weight during pregnancy and following childbirth.

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2014

Helping pregnant women achieve a healthy lifestyle and good outcome for themselves and their baby in terms of health and well-being
Scholarship
Researchers:
Description:

This project will translate a successful pilot intervention for weight management in pregnancy and post-partum undertaken at the John Hunter Hospital antenatal clinics, the ‘Bouncing Back to a Pre-Baby Body’ (BBB) program, into an online program.

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The HEY MAN pilot study: using eHealth to Enhance Your Mental health, Physical Activity and Nutrition in young men.
Project Grant
Description:

Consistent evidence confirms that excessive stress can adversely affect physical and mental health.

more