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This theme focuses on changing diet-related behaviour to improve health outcomes, especially to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, for which a poor diet is one of the key risk factors that can be changed.

To do this we will develop and test interventions to:

  • support people to change the composition of their diet to reduce the risk of disease. e.g. decrease saturated fat, sugar or salt; and
  • support people to lose weight, primarily by consuming less energy

The focus is not on ‘discovery’ science, which establishes which parts of the diet are risk factors for disease. Instead, this theme takes what is already known about these risk factors and considers, for example:

  • how to convey nutritional information in a way which best enables people to make appropriate changes; and
  • what are the behavioural strategies which motivate and support people to make sustainable changes to their diet?

Crucially, the focus is on creating interventions that can be delivered at a large scale and low cost to the NHS.

We know that intensive interventions to support people to change their diet, become more active or lose weight can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. But these interventions cannot be delivered in routine practice in a way which maintains their effectiveness.

We need to look for new approaches.

The interventions we will develop and test may have smaller benefits for individuals, but because they will be accessible to many more people the net effect may be greater for the population as a whole.

Projects within this theme

Latest news

£9million investment for health and social care research across Oxford and the Thames Valley

Health and social care across Oxford and the Thames Valley is set to receive a boost over the next five years through £9 million of research funding from the National Institute for Health Research.

Online shopping interventions may help customers buy healthier foods

Altering the default order in which foods are shown on the screen, or offering substitutes lower in saturated fat could help customers make healthier choices when shopping for food online, new research from CLAHRC Oxford supported researchers finds.

Low calorie meal replacements are a cost-effective routine treatment for obesity in the NHS

NIHR CLAHRC Oxford supported Researchers: Replacing all regular meals with a low calorie diet of soups, shakes and bars, together with behavioural support, is cost-effective as a routine treatment for obesity

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