Participate in human nutrition studies

For many of our studies we recruit participants from our local communities. If you would like to take part, please see the links below for more information.

Research studies currently recruiting

Vegetables as a first food for babies

The aim of the First Foods Study is to investigate the impact of a vegetables-first approach to complementary feeding on infant food preferences.

Early exposure to vegetables during complementary feeding may improve liking of vegetables, and therefore improve vegetable intake throughout childhood. The results of this study will contribute to the evidence for recommendations to provide vegetables as a first food for babies.

Inclusion criteria

You are invited to participate if you:

-       are a mother and has not yet started complementary feeding with their infant

If you would like further information about the study, please feel free to contact Jeanette Rapson – j.rapson@massey.ac.nz or www.vegesfirststudy.co.nz/contact

Close to the Bone

Osteoporosis is one of the leading healthcare issues worldwide. Osteoporosis is characterised by changes in bone structure resulting in increased fragility and risk of fractures in older adults. It is estimated that about 22% of women over 50 years of age will develop osteoporosis.

This study aims to investigate the links between bone health and lifestyle factors, specifically the gluten free diet consumed by people with coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.

Inclusion criteria

To become a participant, you will need to:

-          Be a healthy female
OR
-          Be a female medically diagnosed with coeliac disease, who has consumed a strict gluten free diet for a year or more
OR
-          Be a female medically diagnosed with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, who has consumed a strict gluten free diet for a year or more
AND
-          Be aged between 18-40 years
-          Live in the Palmerston North and Wellington Regions

If you would be interested in participating, please contact Katie on (06) 356 9099 ext. 85541 or email CloseToTheBone@massey.ac.nz

The BELieF Study

We would like to invite you to participate in this study investigating low energy availability in females. The purpose of this study is to investigate behavioural risk factors associated with low energy availability in females living in Auckland New Zealand.

Inclusion criteria

-        Be between 18-30 years of age
-        Be proficient in English
-        Not be pregnant or currently breastfeeding.
-        Have no known eating disorders currently or in the last 12 months

If you would be interested in participating, please contact Claire Badenhorst on +64 9 213 6410  or email c.badenhorst@massey.ac.nz

The Caffeine Study

Effect of genetics on the ergogenicity of caffeine during endurance exercise

While we know caffeine generally has a performance enhancing effect, it is usually different for most people. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate how key genes affect responses to caffeine ingestion and how it impacts on endurance performance. 

Inclusion criteria

You are invited to participate if you:

-        are male between 18-55 years
-        are a non-smoker
-        consume caffeine at least once per week from any major source (coffee, black tea, energy drinks etc.)
-        regularly perform endurance exercise (running, cycling etc.)
-        able to complete a 40km cycle-based time trial in less than 90min.

If you are interested or require further information please contact Kyle Southward (k.a.southward@massey.ac.nz)

The Beetroot Study

The aims of this study are to examine the effects of a single dose and prolonged intake of nitrate supplementation, of beetroot juice, on cognition, mood and cardiovascular responses in younger (18-30 years) and older adults (50-70 years).

You are invited to participate if you are:

•    between the ages 18-30y or 50-75y
•    able to cycle for 20 min
•    not an advanced/elite athletes (someone who trains more than four times per week constantly for their sport and competes at a high level)
•    not on blood pressure medication

More information

Effectiveness of a cramp relief beverage with exercise-induced cramp

A large proportion of the adult population suffer from exercise associated muscle cramp, predominantly endurance athletes and the elderly. This study aims to test the validity of a developed sports beverage to relieve exercise associated muscle cramps. To get these results participants will have cramp induced in them through doing exercises in a controlled environment.

Inclusion Criteria

18+
Recreationally Fit
Not pregnant or breastfeeding
Don't have type 2 diabetes
If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Holly Garnham at h.garnham@massey.ac.nz

Eating habits of Preschool Children in New Zealand

Inadequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is associated with a range of health issues including poor growth and development, overweight, obesity and nutrition related disease.  Identifying those most at risk of poor nutrition is the first step to providing interventions and access to services such as Dietitians and other health professionals. This research is investigating nutrition habits of preschool children aged 2 to 5 years old in rural and suburban areas of New Zealand and aims to include a wide range of ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. The findings of the research may assist with further research and development of nutrition interventions for preschool aged children at highest nutrition risk in New Zealand.

Inclusion Criteria

·       Being a parent/primary caregiver of a preschool child (two to five years old) 

·       Having lived in New Zealand for the last 5 years

·       Be able to read and write in English. 

You can find out more about the study here https://forms.gle/ud1Wbo3mqBebDN4JA or contact Helen Ross at h.ross@massey.ac.nz.

Perception versus Risk of Type 2 diabetes - 10 minute questionnaire

  • The purpose of this questionnaire is to investigate the perceptions people have about type 2 diabetes as well as their actual risk of developing the disease.

    Approximately 199,000 New Zealand adults have type 2 diabetes and rates for pre-diabetes (also known as high blood sugar) are estimated to be much higher. Diabetes can result in long lasting health complications such as kidney disease, blindness and amputations.

    An individuals' awareness of their diabetes risk is essential to be able to make changes in their lifestyle. The study involves a short 10-minute online questionnaire.

    Inclusion criteria

  • Is a New Zealand citizen or resident

  • Does NOT currently have a diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes

  • Is over the age of 18 years

  • Is NOT currently pregnant

Benefits in participating in the questionnaire include:

Obtaining your own personal risk score of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as information about your risk score.  
You will be contributing to valuable research, with results of the research available on the below website early next year.
For more information on the study, please see the attached Participant Information Sheet at: www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/colleges/college-of-health/school-of-sport-and-exercise/human-nutrition/research/studies/diabetes-perceptions-vs-risk/diabetes-perceptions-vs-risk_home.cfm

The PROMISE Study

The gut microbiome: a new pathway to obesity prevention and metabolic health

Supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand

This study is investigating how the bacteria in our intestines are affected by diet, physical activity, sleep and taste perception, and how this is linked to health and a healthy body weight.

More information

Completed studies

My culture My plate Study

Food is an important part of cultural heritage and national identity.

The aim of this study is to o improve the cultural profile of the current hospital menus. We want to find out what you thing about the menu at Auckland City, Counties Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals and, what kind of traditional/cultural foods that you like to eat when you are sick.

Volunteers must:

- Be > 18 years
- Be of Maori, Pacific or Chinese ethnicity
- Have been in hospital within the past 12 months

This study involves filling out an online survey and attending a small group talk in your local community.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The ViVID Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the current iron and vitamin D levels in Middle Eastern and South Asian females living in Auckland New Zealand, and identify risk factors associated with the development of these nutrient deficiencies.

We are looking for 235 females to participate in this study. To take part in the study you should:
-    be between 18-40 years of age
-    be proficient in English (able to speak and read English)
-    have not consumed iron, vitamin C or calcium supplements (or supplements that contain these nutrients) in the previous 3 months.
-    have not donated blood for six months prior to the study
-    not be pregnant or breastfeeding

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

The LOCA Study

The aim of this study is to find out what the practices of low carbohydrate diet followers in NZ are, and the reasons behind their diet choices. New knowledge from the LOCA (LOw CArb) Study will help us understand different varieties of low carbohydrate diets and how it impacts on people’s lives in NZ.

We are looking for men and women to participate in this study. To take part in this study you need to:
- Be between 20 and 45 years of age
- Not be pregnant or breastfeeding
- Be following a low carbohydrate diet
- Not have any chronic diseases such as coeliac disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer etc.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

Breastfeeding for Young Mothers study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the socio-ecological factors that lead to breastfeeding duration in these young mothers.

We are currently recruiting mothers aged 25 or under who are partially or exclusively breastfed for 4 months or more, had a baby within the last year and are competent in English.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

Feeding Babies Study

We would like to invite you to take part in the Feeding Babies study, which aims to develop and validate a tool to assess nutrient intake in infants aged between 9 and 12 months.

It is well known that a baby’s diet is important for their early growth and development. To assess a baby’s diet there are a range of dietary assessment methods available. Some of the traditional dietary assessment methods are time consuming and not appropriate to the infant population.

Therefore, the aim of this study is to validate a new quick and easy dietary assessment tool, (an online questionnaire) against the traditional gold standard method (a food diary) to assess its validity and accuracy to assess nutrient intake.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The GLARE Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether three antioxidant-rich food extracts (grape seed, Rooibos tea and olive leaf extract) decrease blood glucose after a meal and assess whether these extracts could slow the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The REACH Study

The purpose of the study is to identify dietary patterns in older adults and explore their association with cognitive function.  We will also look at other health outcomes associated with aging, including novel metabolic biomarkers, genetics, and factors influencing mobility.

We have completed the recruitment phase for this study. Thank you for your interest, we'll be updating this page with the results once analysis has been completed.

More information

The GoldKiwi Study

The aim of this study is to look at how consuming the antioxidant vitamin C or kiwifruit, can affect stress produced through exercise in women.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The Turmeric Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of turmeric on markers of inflammation and metabolic health after a fatty meal

We are currently recruiting volunteers who are:

- men
- aged between 18 and 40 years old
- healthy
- normal weight

More information

The MINI Study

Recruitment is now closed for this study and a summary of results will be posted here soon.

This study will monitor the mother’s health by assessing her nutrient status, thyroid function and general health. How a mother’s health status might affect her baby’s development during early life is important. The three nutrients being studied are iodine, selenium, and iron. Understanding these nutrients will help to provide better health care to future mothers. This leads to greater knowledge about the health and wellbeing of all mothers and their infants.

Who are we looking for?
•    healthy women over the age of 16
•    either in the late stage of pregnancy or having just given birth.

More information

The WOMBI Study

Does the exclusion of iodine fortified bread in the diet of mid-life women result in low iodine status?

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The VIDOMA Study - Autism in Children

The study is nicknamed the VIDOMA study, short for VItamin D and OMega-3 in Autism.

Children with ASD often have deficiencies in their diet due to physical and behavioural issues related to the condition. Some of the nutrients which can be deficient in children with ASD are known to affect brain development and function. The two nutrients that this study is going to investigate are vitamin D and omega-3.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The Dietary Fibre Study

The Dietary Fibre Study aims to understand dietary fibre intake behaviours, which in turn will help health professionals give better advice to individuals and will also add to our knowledge about dietary fibre intake behaviours.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

More information

The Filipino Women's Health Study

An investigation on the effects of changing diets on calcium intake and the risk of metabolic syndrome among Filipino immigrants in Auckland.

This study aims to find out the effect of these changes on the calcium intake of Filipino women living in Auckland and other factors affecting their bone health.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took part. A summary of the results will be posted here shortly.

More information

The BaSE Study

The purpose of the BaSE study is to ‘get inside’ the personal experience of undergoing, or recently undergone bariatric surgery or a Roux-en Y gastric bypass. In particular the study aims to understand the factors which affect dietary quality and acceptance of the lifestyle changes which are necessary for success. The information gathered will be used to inform best-practice guidelines and improve outcomes for patients.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took part. A summary of the results will be posted here shortly.

The Athlete Diet Index Study

An athlete’s dietary intake can impact his/hers performance, therefore it is important to be able to assess dietary intake accurately.  This study aims to investigate how well a newly developed dietary assessment tool (the Athlete Diet Index) measures the dietary intake of high performing athletes compared with more traditional dietary assessment methods such as food records.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took part.

View results of this study

The ADAPT Study

The study aims to investigate what influence differing dietary fibre intakes have on how the gut bacteria respond to a prebiotic.

We have now completed the recruitment phases of this study. Results will be posted here shortly. Thank you to all those that participated in the ADAPT study.

More information

Sweet Taste Study

Taste sensitivity to sweet varies considerably between individuals. As variations in taste sensitivity influences food choice, and thereby affects quality of life, the project aims to understand the relationship between sweet taste perception and food intake and behaviour.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took part. A summary of the results will be posted here shortly.

More information

Dessert Taste Study

The study will involve taste, aroma and textural evaluation of food products and samples. This project will also investigate dietary intake, to better understand the relationship between sensory perception and food choice.

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took part.

View results of this study

The Healthy Eating Index Study

We have completed the recruitment phase for this study. Thank you to all volunteers that took part in the study.

This study aims to assess the accuracy of filling in a food diary against the new, innovative Children’s Healthy Index Questionnaire (CHEI). The CHEI will allow researchers to understand what children are eating whilst reducing the time burden to participants.

More information

Vitamin D status, BMD and risk of stress fracture in NZ

We have completed the recruitment phase for this study. Thank you to all volunteers that took part in the study.

A two year study assessing female army recruits during basic training. Vitamin D and iron deficiency in females has been linked to both physical and mental fatigue, and therefore, injury.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

Women's EXPLORE Study

We have completed the recruitment phase for this study. Thank you to all volunteers that took part in the study.

What does your body profile say about you?

We are looking for women of all shapes and sizes to take part in the women’s “EXPLORE” study. We want to understand how different body weight and body fat profiles are related to risk for chronic disease in women. We also want to understand how diet and physical activity patterns may impact these profiles and more specifically, how diet and activity may affect small molecules in the blood associated with body fat usage and storage.

Nutrition During Pregnancy Study

This study looked at the food sources and the dietary intakes of Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS). This study has been completed. Thank you to all volunteers that took part in the study.

View results of this study

The Middle Eastern Women’s Health study

A study in Middle Eastern women living in Auckland investigating how vitamin D deficinecy effects potential risk factors

Data collection is now complete. A summary of the results is available here.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

The Vitamin D and Psoriasis Study

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious, inflammatory disease of the skin that affects approximately one in every fifty adults. Massey University is conducting an intervention trial that will determine whether vitamin D supplements are an effective treatment for psoriasis. The research is part of a PhD in Human Nutrition and will take place in Auckland over a one year period, beginning in mid-2012.

Data collection is now complete and a paper published - click here to view abstract.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

Preschoolers & Vitamin D Study - Te Ra Whakaora

We mostly get Vitamin D from the sun, which is very important for building strong bones and maintaining good health. Researchers know something about the vitamin D status of New Zealand adults, and a little about newborn babies, but we know very little about the vitamin D levels of our preschoolers.

We will be able to create a simple questionnaire-type tool from the data collected in this study which health professionals can use to decide if a child is at risk of vitamin D deficiency. This means they can be identified early, before their health is potentially affected.

Data collection is now complete. A summary of the results will be posted here soon.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

Well-LaD study

Massey University is conducting a study investigating wellness, lifestyle and diet (The Well-LaD Study) in New Zealand men aged 40-70 years. It focuses on erectile dysfunction as a marker for subclinical cardiovascular disease.

Our aim is to determine the prevalence and severity of erectile dysfunction in New Zealand men and its relationship to dietary and lifestyle factors, highlighting areas for effective intervention.

Data collection is now complete.

The Surya study

A study in South Asian women living in Auckland who are insulin resistant and vitamin D deficient.

Data collection is now complete. A summary of the results will be posted here soon.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

The Kalya Study

A study in Chinese and Indian females investigating how vitamin D and calcium status effects bone health and muscle strength

Data collection is now complete. A summary of the results will be posted here soon.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

The Mothers and Health Professionals vitamin D study

A nation-wide survey of the attitudes, knowledge and behaviours of 9000 mothers of young children, and the health professionals who interact with them.

Data collection is now complete. A summary of the results will be posted here soon.

Click here to learn more about the Vitamin D Research Centre

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