Faculty of Health

Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research

Completed projects


The caffeine-calorie effect

This study investigated the influence of caffeine on the flavour and consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), and whether caffeine may be a factor in the development of overweight and obesity.

Participants were regular consumers of caffeine and SSB, aged 18-30 year olds and living in Melbourne.
The study involved dietary intervention to assess the influence of caffeine on the amount of SSB consumed and sensory evaluation to investigate flavour activity. Height, weight and dietary intake of participants was measured.

Results indicated that:

  • Caffeine has an effect on sweetness in SSB that results in excess sugar being included in caffeinated SSB.
  • Caffeine increases consumption of SSB.
  • Caffeine in SSB is responsible for passive over-consumption of energy.

The study was funded by Deakin University and the Diabetes Australia Research Trust.

Further information:Associate Professor Russell Keast


Improving Health and Quality of Life with Improved Nutrition in Residential Care Establishments.

This project was conducted from 2004-2007 and was funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant in partnership with Murray Goulburn and Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

This project assessed if a nutrition intervention program that included the provision of suitable food products (i.e. fortified milk) or multivitamin supplements in residential care establishments, can improve nutritional status and bone health.

We found that dietary intake of nutrients generally did meet nutritional requirements in residential care, that multivitamin supplementation for 6 months appeared to reduce bone loss, that provision of vitamin D and calcium fortified milk improved dietary intake, but did not allow most residents to achieve optimal vitamin D status.

Key publications from this research are:

1.         Greiger  JA,  Nowson CA.  Use of calcium, folate and vitamin D3-fortified milk for 6 months improves nutritional status but not bone mass or turnover in a group of Australian Residents.  J Nutr Elderly 2009  28:236-254.
2.         Grieger  JA,  Nowson CA, Ackland LM.  Nutritional and functional status indicators in residents of a long-term care facility.  J Nutr Elder. 2009 Jan-Mar 28(1):47-60.
3.         Grieger  JA,  Nowson CA, Jarman HF, Malon R, Ackland LM.  Multivitamin supplementation improves nutritional status and bone quality in aged care residents.  Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Apr 63(4):558-65. Epub 2007
4.         Grieger  J,  Nowson C, Ackland ML.  Anthropometric and biochemical markers for nutritional risk among residents within an Australian residential care facility.  Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007.16(1):178-86.
5.         Grieger  JA,  Nowson CA.  Nutrient intake and plate waste from an Australian residential care facility. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 May 61(5):655-63
6.         Nowson C,  Jarman H, Herd A.  Enhancing nutritional research within an aged care facility. Nutrition & Dietetics 2008; 65:157–161.

Further information:  Professor Caryl Nowson

Women’s Healthy Ageing and Muscle study (WHAM)

About the study
The aim of this study was to assess if increased consumption of lean red meat combined with regular exercise reduces inflammation and enhances muscle health and function, in women.

Participants were women over the age of 60 years, living in Melbourne metropolitan retirement villages, allocated to one of two groups:
1)   A group that received resistance and balance/agility training with increased dietary protein achieved through the consumption of lean red meat, or
2)   A group that received resistance and balance/agility training with a protein intake equivalent to the current estimated requirement.

All women received vitamin D supplements to ensure they have vitamin D sufficiency. The women underwent a number of measurements before and after the intervention including: bone density, body composition, muscle-mass and blood tests to measure markers of inflammation.

Funding for the study
This study was funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.

Further information:  Professor Caryl Nowson,  Professor Rob Daly

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

17th May 2012