Young people’s dietary intake and nutritional status when adopting different plant-based diets (VeggiSkills Australia)

This project aims to obtain knowledge about the dietary intake, nutritional status and body composition of young people adhering to plant-based diets of different strictness. Also, to understand young peoples´ food literacy, attitudes, and behaviours in relation to plant-based diets, and specifically which factors impact the adherence to sustainable plant-based diets.

This project is part of an international collaboration with researchers in Norway and Sweden who are conducting the same projects in those countries. This PhD project will support the Australian arm of this international collaboration. The project consists of two cross-sectional studies. Study 1 uses a quantitative approach and is divided into three parts, comprising assessment of A) dietary intakes; B) nutritional status and body composition; and C) food and nutrition literacy, health-related behaviours and attitudes, among young people eating plant-based diets with different strictness in comparison with those eating omnivorous diet. Study 2 is a qualitative interview-based study that will explore both individual and social factors that facilitate and hinder young peoples’ adoption of a plant-based diet.

The objectives of this PhD project are:

1) to assess and compare dietary intakes, nutritional status and body composition of young people following different plant-based diets (vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, non-red meat eaters) with those eating omnivorous diets

2) to investigate food and nutrition literacy, health-related behaviours, and attitudes of young people following different plant-based diets

3) to explore factors that facilitate and/or impede adherence to a plant-based diet and shape (un)healthy practices affecting food and nutrition.


Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours (or equivalent) in a relevant field. Interested students must meet Deakin University’s PhD entry requirements and be eligible to apply for an Australian Post Graduate Award or equivalent. The supervision team will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

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