NIHR Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative

We have formed the NIHR Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative together with NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle and NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, to improve practice in nutrition and lifestyle research.

Supporting  research trainees

The collaborative is committed to supporting trainees, with flexibility and exchange across the three sites, giving them access to Southampton’s week long intercollegiate course on human nutrition,  Bristol’s nutrition epidemiology course, as well as events at Loughborough University.

In 2016 the collaborative will run Measure 2016, a two day workshop on data analysis techniques and methodologies hosted by Leicester-Loughborough. This compliments a two day clinical exercise testing workshop for NIHR trainees later in 2016, in partnership with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough.

Sharing good practice

The collaborative first began in 2012 and has since met regularly to enable strategic planning, networking and sharing of ideas on nutrition and physical activity research. Meetings have rotated to each site, to discuss their respective work flow, patient recruitment practices and capabilities.

The meetings involve directors, theme leads, managers and training leads, as well as representatives from the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) and Department of Health. They have provided a platform to streamline standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as refining strategies for recruitment and patient and public involvement (PPI), minimising duplication of effort and enhancing practices.

Setting national standards

The collaborative are working to generate consensus statements and standards, using our combined expertise, on four key areas of nutrition and lifestyle research and practice:

  • Nutritional Assessment
  • Measurement of body composition
  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour measurement
  • Biomarkers

Working with industry

The collaborative is working closely with NOCRI to engage industry partners with our consensus statements and standards. We have hosted two stands at Bristol and Leicester with NOCRI and WellPoint Health to connect with new industry partners. In particular, we are focussing on engaging industry on nutriceuticals, an emerging market which cannot follow traditional regulatory routes.