Bath: Volunteers Wanted For Uni Diet Project

13 January 2014, 13:19 | Updated: 13 January 2014, 13:29


Researchers from the University of Bath are looking for volunteers to take part in a study to examine the health benefits of making small changes to diet and activity over a period of just ten days.

The team, from the University’s Department for Health, is looking for men and women between the ages of 45 and 65 who are currently overweight. For just ten days, volunteers will be given instructions to swap certain foods in their diet and incorporate a number of 2 minute activity breaks over the course of each day.

Previous research by this group has suggested that there may be important differences in properties of certain immune cells located specifically in fat tissue which are increased as people put on weight.

The researchers believe that these properties may be sensitive to small changes in diet and activity, even for short periods of time, and may ultimately help improve our health. They aim to investigate changes in cells before and after the short period of diet and activity modification and compare them to changes in other health markers in the blood.

Dr Dylan Thompson, who is leading the research, said:

“We want to understand more about how and why these immune cells that are typically involved in fighting off infections are present in our fat tissue and what role they play with increasing weight.

There are great benefits for those taking part in this research. They will have an opportunity to look in detail at their own health and fitness, ideal if they want to know what specific changes they can make to improve their lifestyle or to understand the impact of their current lifestyle.”

Participants will be asked to attend one short visit to the University for some preliminary testing to assess eligibility, after which there would be just two additional mornings in the laboratory. Only ten days will be spent making small dietary changes and taking regular short activity breaks. They will be able to read, work or watch a DVD whilst they are in the laboratory. 

In return they will learn how to change their diet to lose weight and will be given a health MOT, including blood measurements for cholesterol, glucose and insulin, a DEXA scan to show percentage of body fat and muscle, an assessment of physical activity levels and a dietary assessment.

They will also be offered the choice of a £50 voucher or 6 months free gym membership at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.

The research team is particularly interested in hearing from volunteers who do not smoke and have been at a stable weight for more than three months.

For more information about the project, participants should contact:

Dr Dylan Thompson on 01225 383177 email

or Becki Travers on 01225 384826 email