Nutrition diet and lifestyle

Key areas of focus

  • Development and implementation of methods to assess diet, nutrition and physical activity in observational studies, clinical trials, surveys and natural experimental studies
  • Investigating the interplay between dietary and nutritional factors and physical activity with genetic susceptibility and early life development in the aetiology of chronic disease
  • Development of interventions to support diet, physical activity and nutrition in patient and population groups to enhance health outcomes.

The overall aim is to investigate how dietary, nutritional and lifestyle behaviours lead to chronic diseases and to create the foundation for the development of preventive interventions that can reduce the occurrence of those diseases, the risks of complications and improve outcomes for patients.

In the theme we will build on established strengths to develop a coordinated programme for the assessment of diet, physical activity and nutrition in a range of studies. We will translate advances in methods into widely useable tools, facilitating their application in national and international studies.

Understanding whether the links between risk factors and disease outcomes are causal or are a reflection of the common links between other factors is crucial to the development of interventions. In this theme we will use developments in genetics and in biomarker measurement technology to investigate the likelihood that the observed links between diets, nutrition and outcomes are truly causal.

Currently, recommendations for changing diet and physical activity are the same for all individuals and yet it is clear that the benefits of changing behaviour could differ between people. This theme investigates the interplay between dietary and nutritional factors and physical activity with other factors such as genes or early growth to identify sub-groups who could benefit from personalised preventive recommendations.

A particular gap in understanding exists for lifestyle recommendations for people with established disease. Therefore, we are developing a programme of work that will underpin the development of lifestyle behaviour change programmes in patient groups to enhance health outcomes.