Researchers require families to road test their new web based tool which monitors children’s diet and physical activity levels.
Children aged between nine and 11 and who have access to a computer are needed for the study being run by the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
The young volunteers will have their height and weight taken and wear small monitoring devices on their chest and around their waist.
They will also keep food and activity diaries - which they will type into the website themselves - and give urine samples which will tell researchers about their daily calorie intake.
Dr Diane Jackson, of the Public Health Nutrition Group at the Rowett who leads the study, said: “Diet and physical activity are two of the most important factors that shape our health.
“And there are plenty of surveys, initiatives, interventions and community based projects out there aimed at assessing and improving our diet and physical activity. These are essential in providing the information needed to inform policymakers about diet and health.
“But the diet and physical activity data collected in these surveys can sometimes be limited and there is a real need to improve the quality of information gathered without adding to the burden on researchers and volunteers.
“However we have developed a simple and brand new website tool which we believe does just that.
“But before we can start using it properly we really need to put it to the test to see if our new tool really could replace the costly and cumbersome techniques currently used to gather this kind of information.
“That’s why we are looking for families to help us road test the website.
“We have a handful of families already on board and the kids have really enjoyed going on the website and typing in what they have eaten and the activities they have done that day.
“Their activity is also measured by little monitoring devices they wear which we have used for many of our research projects over the years.
“Now we need more families whose kids are keen to get involved.”
The study is called the Reality (Rowett energy intake And Lifestyle Internet Tool for You) project and is funded by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate (RERAD).
Families interestedin getting involved should ring the Reality team on 01224 716632.
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