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    Student works with healthcare professionals to research personalised nutrition programmes

    Posted 25 March

    Grace Latham and Harper Adams Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Lee.

    A rise in diet-related illnesses has prompted a final year Harper Adams Food Technology student to work with healthcare professionals to discover if personalised nutrition programmes could help.

    Final year BSc (Hons) Food Technology with Nutrition student Grace Latham was drawn to the topic for her Honours Research Project, and has been working with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others across both NHS and private healthcare to find out their views on how a tailored approach to diet could work.

    Grace is seeking to understand how much each healthcare professional already knows about the provision of personalised programmes – and if there are any barriers to implementing them in healthcare , or ways in which to make their introduction easier.

    She said: “I chose this topic as I am very interested in nutrition, and at the moment the UK is seeking an increase in the prevalence of diet-related illness such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    “It has, therefore, been proposed that current programmes used to prevent or treat such illness are not effective - and a more personalised approach may be better.

    “After all, if all people are unique - then why aren't our preventative or treatment programmes?”

    Grace has spent the past few months collecting her data and conducting interviews with relevant healthcare professionals, and is currently analysing the responses received before submitting her finalised project later this spring.

    Her work has already impressed academics at Harper Adams – where a talk she gave on her research was awarded the judges’ prize for Best Oral Presentation at an annual mini-conference for food and business students.

    Grace, 21, from Leicestershire, was drawn to her course by the breath of career opportunities which it presented her upon graduation.

    She added: “I chose my degree as I have always had an interest in food and science - specifically biology - and I felt like my degree enabled me to combine both interests.

    “I chose Harper because the course modules have a lot of variety in them, meaning that I am not constrained to a certain role within the food industry when I graduate.

    “I can work in all sorts of areas such as New Product Development (NPD), specifications, marketing, research and design and many more!

    “I also felt really comfortable on campus at the Open Days, and all of the lecturers seemed really friendly and actually knew the students helping out - which wasn't the case at other universities."

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