23 January 2012
A senior researcher has secured a $520,000 grant to examine the role of dairy-rich products in weight loss.
Professor John Hawley.
Dr Vernon Coffey.
Professor John Hawley from the School of Medical Sciences at RMIT University was awarded the grant by the Dairy Health and Nutrition Consortium.
His project will examine the effect of dairy-based high-protein, variable-carbohydrate diets and exercise on weight loss and muscle maintenance and movement.
He will be assisted by Professor Louise Burke, Head of the Department of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport in the ACT; Professor Stuart Phillips, Head of Research at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada; and Dr Vernon Coffey, a senior post-doctoral scientist at RMIT.
Professor Hawley said his project would seek to determine which commercially available dairy foods - when combined with exercise - would help weight loss and in what quantities they should be eaten.
"Most of us know that as part of a healthy balanced diet we need three to four serves of dairy each day, including at least one serve of milk, cheese and yoghurt," he said.
"But at the same time there are people running around saying that if you want to lose weight (or more precisely fat mass) then you have to stay away from all dairy products. I think this is nonsense!
"There is some evidence to suggest that some full-fat dairy products might be better for weight loss than some low-fat products, because of the amount of sugar in some low-fat products.
"So we are looking to bring research science to the question and provide evidence-based facts to assist people who are over weight with permanent, gradual, healthy fat loss."
Professor Hawley is Head of the Exercise Metabolism Research Group and Professor of Exercise Metabolism in the School of Medical Sciences.
The focus of the Exercise Metabolism Research Group is on aspects of skeletal muscle energy metabolism related to exercise and diabetes.
"The group has a particular emphasis on the regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism and the mechanisms regulating their use in muscle during rest and exercise," he said.
Professor Hawley is seeking 100 overweight people aged 35 to 55 who live near the RMIT Bundoora campus to take part in the study. Join the study.