By addressing the major problems behind chronic disease and preventable death, our research has helped inform policies and programs, and led to significant achievements to help improve health.
The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) established within Deakin University with four founding members: Alfred Deakin Professors David Crawford, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio and Kylie Ball.
Prepared the World Health Organisation report: Using Domestic Law in the Fight Against obesity: An introductory guide for the Pacific. Geneva, World Health Organization, ISBN 92 9061 045 x. The guide was used to assist with planning for policy activities for regulatory approaches to support a National Plan of Action on Nutrition (NPAN).
Participated in a strategic planning workshop for the Victorian Government’s ‘Go For Your Life’ initiative.
Contributed to the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Weight strategy.
Our ‘Switch-Play’ program aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity in children was incorporated into the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services ‘Kids -Go For Your Life’ program and offered online for primary school teachers to download and use in their teaching. It was also offered to all primary schools by the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania.
Contributed to the Australian Department of Health and Aging’s National Physical Activity Guidelines for 0-5 year olds (the first guidelines for this age group in the world).
Developed the first comprehensive food-based diet quality index for Australia based on optimal dietary patterns that informed national and international dietary guidelines (Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010;
USDA Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee; NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines); Position statements (Heart Foundation Position Statement Heart Healthy Eating Patterns; www.phaa.net.au/documents/item/3818); and local, national and international policy documents (VicHealth Healthy Eating Strategy 2019–23; AIHW, 2019. Nutrition across the life stages; European Commission. Role of Nutrition in Active and Healthy Ageing). This index was updated for the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines to evaluate diet quality of the Australian population (Thorpe et al 2016 DOI:10.3390/nu8030160; Livingstone et al. DOI:10.1186/s12889-016-3714-5).
Contributed to A Healthier Future For All Australians – final report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission – June 2009, Commonwealth of Australia 2009.
Contributed to Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020 – National Preventative Health Strategy – Overview, Commonwealth of Australia 2009.
Contributed to the Heart Foundation’s Blueprint for an Active Australia. National Heart Foundation of Australia. 2009.
The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) designated a Deakin University Strategic Research Centre
We identified the main sources of salt in children’s diets, which is critical in efforts to reduce salt intake.
Our expertise informed the development of the Food Access and Cost Survey instrument developed and utilised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and WA Department of Health in both 2010 and 2013. The 2010 Survey has resulted in several reports produced by the ABS and WA Government which are being utilised to assists retailers, food industry, policymakers, health, education and welfare professionals, and the general community to improve food security.
Contributed to the Heart Foundation’s Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design resource. Donovan J, Larsen K and McWhinnie J. Food-sensitive planning and urban design: A conceptual framework for achieving a sustainable and healthy food system. Melbourne: Report commissioned by the National Heart Foundation of Australia (Victorian Division), 2011.
We conducted the first intervention programs in Australian supermarkets to improve fruit and vegetable consumption. In partnership with Coles and the Heart Foundation, we showed that education and improving skills in food purchasing and preparation, as well as price reductions, improved consumption. This program also resulted in changes within Coles including price discounts offered on fruit and vegetables, and trialling of initiatives to support customers and workers to improve eating behaviours.
Contributed to the Parliament of Victoria Inquiry into Environmental Design and Public Health in Victoria, Legislative Council Environment and Planning References Committee.
Instrumental in the development of the Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement commissioned by the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS) and Osteoporosis Australia (OA). Caryl A Nowson, John J McGrath, Peter R Ebeling, Anjali Haikerwal, Robin M Daly, Kerrie M Sanders, Markus J Seibel and Rebecca S Mason. Med J Aust 2012; 196 (11): 686-687. || doi: 10.5694/mja11.10301
We were the first in the world to use objective assessment of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in a population sample of children under two years of age (Hnatiuk J, Ridgers ND, Salmon J, Campbell K, McCallum Z, Hesketh K. Physical activity levels and patterns of 19 month old children. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2012; 44: 1715-1720).
Contributed to the development of the Australian Government’s National Physical Activity Guidelines for 5-18 year olds.
Contributed to the development of the Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra, National Health and Medical Research Council 2013.
Our INFANT (Infant Feeding, Active Play and Nutrition) initiative was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to enable the program to be offered to selected local government areas (LGAs) as part of the Healthy Together Victoria initiative. A total of 8 of 12 LGAs opted to run the program with strong acceptance and adoption by Maternal and Child Health Nurses and other health professionals.
Deployment of the co-designed ‘Healthwatch’ cardiovascular health and wellbeing program to support fire and emergency service workers suppress the 45-day Hazelwood mine fire.
Successfully trialled our community-based ‘Osteo-cise: Strong Bones for Life’ osteoporosis prevention exercise program for older adults, with funding provided by Osteoporosis Australia.
Contributed to the Heart Foundation’s Blueprint for an Active Australia (Second edition). National Heart Foundation of Australia. Blueprint for an active Australia: National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2014.
Commissioned by the Heart Foundation to evaluate their Walking program (Ball K et al., (2017). How to get a nation walking: reach, retention, participant characteristics and program implications of Heart Foundation Walking, a nationwide Australian community-based walking program. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 14: 161. Doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-5). The Heart Foundation used the evaluation results for advocacy for the ongoing implementation of the program; to inform program data collection practices; and to inform decisions about the program’s future needs and priorities (e.g. reach to particular groups). It has since engaged more than 30,000 Australians and was awarded $10M in the 2017 Federal Budget.
Member of the Steering Group for VicHealth’s Victoria’s Citizens’ jury on Obesity, which was part of VicHealth’s Leading Thinker’s Initiative. The report was released in 2016.
Participated in the Heart Foundation’s National Physical Activity Consensus Forum, ‘Move More, Sit Less’ Parliament House, 11 September.
Our research on meals and snacks was used to inform the Nutrition Australia Vic Division social media campaign ‘What’s got into you’ targeting 18-23 year olds. The campaign reached over 300,000 people.
Designated as a Deakin University Research Institute becoming the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)
Submitted response to the online consultation on the Australian Government’s National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions.
Contributed to Getting Australia’s Health on Track: Priory policy action for a healthier Australia report. Lindberg, R, Fetherston, H, Calder, R, McNamara, K, Knight, A, Livingston, M, Kypri, K, Malo, J, Roberts, L, Stanley, S, Grimes, C, Bolam, B, White, S, Purcell, K, Daube, M, O’Reilly, S, Colagiuri, S, Peeters, A, Batterham, P, Harvey, C, Dunbar, JA. Getting Australia’s Health on Track 2016. Australian Health Policy Collaboration: Melbourne, Victoria University, November 2016.
Member of steering group and expert consultant for the Victorian Inspector General of Emergency Management review into ‘fit for duty’ testing for emergency and public service workers.
Led the development of the ASA24-Australia, an automated self-administered 24-hour dietary recall system for Australia in collaboration with US National Cancer Institute. The ASA24 system was developed through a consortium of five Australian organisations, and made possible through funding from an ARC Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant. The system is free to use by researchers and clinicians, and can be used to collect dietary intake data and obtain nutrient and food group data files.
One of the initiating members of Cochrane Nutrition established by Cochrane to support and enable evidence-informed decision-making for nutrition policy and practice through the preparation and use of nutrition-related Cochrane reviews.
Contributed to the development of the Australian Government National 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years.
Our research on eating patterns directly informed international recommendations for a research definition of an eating occasion. The methodology for eating occasions used in our research is the current recommended approach and is cited in a scientific statement from the American Heart Association (St-Onge MP, et al: Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2017, 135:e96-e121.). This recommendation has since been adopted in original research on eating patterns by multiple international research groups.
Contributed through participation in workshops and an online submission to the development of the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions.
Contributed to the development of the Heart Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2018-2020.
Participated in the Australian Government’s Preventive Health Forum which aimed to articulate a long-term strategic approach for the Australian Government’s policy for sport and recreation.
Participated in the Regional Sport Major Investment Review Panel for VicHealth to provide recommendations to the VicHealth CEO and Board for future partnerships and investment strategies.
Provided a submission on the draft World Health Organisation Global Action Plan for Physical Activity.
Contributed to the development of the National Sport Plan – Sport 2030 (released 2018). Sport 2030, Department of Health, Commonwealth of Australia 2018.
Contributed to Exercise and Sport Science Australia’s position paper on Exercise for osteoporosis (J Sci Med Sport, 2017).
Contributed to Revised Sodium Nutrient Reference Values, Canberra, National Health and Medical Research Council, and Revised Fluoride Nutrient Reference Values for infants and young children in Australia and New Zealand, Canberra, National Health and Medical Research Council.
Research undertaken with the Heart Foundation to examine inequalities in diet quality informed their Heart Healthy Eating Patterns position statement.
Contributed to the Australian College of Midwives Position statement on the safe use of infant formula for healthy term infants.
Contributed to the development of a definition and standards for physical literacy in Australia for the Australian Sports Commission.
Participated in an Australian Government led Policy Think Tank on food regulation.
Our research was cited in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Nutrition across the life stages. Cat. no. PHE 227. Canberra: AIHW.
Provided a submission to the Parliament of Australia Senate Committee: Inquiry into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia. IPAN’s research was cited in the Final Report, Obesity epidemic in Australia, published 5 December 2018, © Commonwealth of Australia 2018.
Developed a novel approach for examining the timing of eating across a 24-h day. This has directly informed the approaches adopted internationally to understand the eating timing patterns of the UK population (Mansukhani, R.; Palla, L. Investigating eating time patterns in UK adults from The 2008–2012 National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 2018, 77; & Wang C, Almoosawi S, Palla L: Day-Time Patterns of Carbohydrate Intake in Adults by Non-Parametric Multi-Level Latent Class Analysis-Results from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008/09-2015/16). Nutrients 2019, 11.).
Expert consultant for Country Fire Authority state-wide implementation of ‘fit for duty’ testing procedures for volunteer fire and emergency service workers.
Contributed to the Expert Committee for Health Canada’s Revision of Canada’s Food Guide.
Contributed to International Union of Nutritional Sciences Task Force on Sustainable Diets.
Contributed to the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy: 2018 and Beyond
Consulted as part of the Expert Working Group Working Paper: Children and Young People. UK physical activity guidelines: draft review and recommendations for Children and Young People, October 2018. Authors: Russell Jago (Chair), Stuart J. Fairclough, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Paul McCrorie, Simon J. Sebire, Lauren B. Sherar, Esther van Sluijs and Craig A. Williams
Advised OzHarvest on program content, and developed an evaluation approach and tools to assess their Nutrition Education Sustenance Program (NEST), a national education program teaching healthy eating skills to people in need.
Contributed to the development of the Australian Government’s National Action Plan for the Health of Children and Young People, Department of Health, Commonwealth of Australia
Contributed to the development of the National Strategic Action Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke, led by National Heart Foundation and Stroke Foundation.
One of nine partners involved in Victoria’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Roundtable, a VicHealth initiative, to develop A Healthier Start for Victorians: a consensus statement on childhood obesity prevention was launched on Tuesday 23 July 2019.
Contributed to the development of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (2019-2023), with three IPAN initiatives Transform-Us!, INFANT and REVAMP highlighted as evidence-based resources for practitioners.
Contributed to the Heart Foundation’s Blueprint for an Active Australia (Third edition).
IPAN’s Transform-Us! Initiative was utilised in Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools Exemplary Schools initiative.
Contributed to the prestigious American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases (Exercise chapter, 2019).
Participated in workshops and consultations to inform the development of a National obesity strategy.
Contributed to the update of the Heart Foundation’s evidence reviews on meat, eggs and dairy food and heart disease risk.
Participated in the Victorian Ministerial roundtable meeting on childhood obesity prevention, organised by VicHealth and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Participated in workshops and consultations to inform the development of a national preventive health strategy, as part of Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan.
Contributed to the Advocating for Musculoskeletal Research in Australia, White Paper, Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science.
Our Pictorial scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competency (PMSC) developed to assess young children’s perceptions of movement skill competence, is being used in 25 countries.
In collaboration with EatUp Australia, developed evaluation tools to assess the reach and impact of Eat Up, a school-based hunger alleviation program in Australia.
In collaboration with the Heart Foundation developed A Pathway to Cardiac Recovery Standardised program content for Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation. Heart Foundation, Melbourne Australia, June 2019, (Hyperlink to report) as part of the Development of standardised cardiac rehabilitation project funded by Safer Care Victoria.
Contributed to Ultra-processed foods, diet quality, and health using the NOVA classification system. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization.
Contributed to Food and Agriculture Organization – World Health Organization, Guiding Principles for Sustainable Healthy Diets, Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization – World Health Organization.
Project Team Member (Victorian Cancer Malnutrition Collaborative) for the cultural adaptation of the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) to reduce barriers to malnutrition screening in non-English speaking people with cancer. This project developed a free online, interactive version of the MST in 10 languages, culturally adapted and translated malnutrition resources in 10 languages, and established the clinical feasibility and cultural appropriateness of using the online MST within Victorian health services.
IPAN’s Transform-Us! Initiative is one of six partners included in Sport Australia’s Sporting schools plus to deliver innovative physical initiatives to embed the development of physical activity and physical literacy within a school environment.
Led the development of a position statement on cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia for the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. The position statement is endorsed by Dietitians Australia, Cancer Nurses Society of Australia, Australia New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research and Cancer Council Australia, and supported by a further 11 national and international organisations.
Research undertaken in collaboration with the City of Greater Bendigo on barriers to fruit and vegetable intake was cited in Greater Bendigo’s Food System Strategy 2020-2030.
The Victorian Department of Health supported the implementation of the INFANT program across Victoria in 2020-2022. The Department provided start-up support for organisations implementing INFANT in Victorian local government areas, as well as INFANT facilitator training.
The Victorian Government’s Joint Ministerial Statement on Physical Activity for Children and Young People featured Transform-Us!, IPAN’s flagship research initiative for getting kids to move more and sit less in the classroom.
Co-authored a paper, Streets for People, for VicHealth’s Life Reimagined series – a response to the dramatic changes to daily life resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns. The paper provided several recommendations to maintain the positive aspects of lockdown (e.g. increased cycling and walking activity) as Australia emerged from lockdown.
Provided evidence on parks and open space to the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee inquiry into environmental infrastructure for growing populations in Melbourne and regional. Also made a submission to committee .
Dr Luana Main was a member of a global working group of 25 international experts from 8 countries to classify the occupational exposure of firefighters as carcinogenic. The group met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization. Dr Main led the evaluation of the evidence available for chronic inflammation as a consequence of occupational exposure. The group’s findings are available in the IARC Monographs Volume 132: The Lancet Oncology.