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25 April 2019

Dr Rachel Gibson wins British Nutrition Foundation Award

Dr Gibson received the Drummond Pump Priming Award to compare health markers in shift workers.

Rachel Gibson
Dr Rachel Gibson

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has announced Dr Rachel Gibson, School of Life Course Sciences as one of the winners of its 2019 Drummond Pump Priming Awards to fund her human nutrition study.

Dr Gibson, a Lecturer in Nutrition & Dietetics, will use the funding to contribute to her study to test if consuming a healthy diet (in line with UK healthy eating recommendations) compared with an unhealthy diet (a typical night worker diet) during night work improves markers of health (blood glucose and heart rate variability) in free-living shift-working employees.

Previous large scale studies have reported that shift workers are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to day working employees.  Research has also found that shift workers make poorer dietary choices compared to day workers, potentially contributing to this increase in disease risk.

Given the importance to the economy of a healthy aging workforce, and the increase in night shift work prevalence, it is important to establish if diet modification can reduce the health disparities between night and day working employees. I am delighted with the support provided by the BNF Pump Priming Awards to undertake this research project. This preliminary research will be used to support future funding applications to develop effective nutritional interventions for night workers and contribute to the evidence base for improving the health of this essential workforce

Dr Rachel Gibson

The BNF Drummond Pump Priming Awards aim to help newly-appointed university lecturers and research fellows in human nutrition to undertake the pilot work needed to generate data that can be used as the basis for further, substantial grant applications. To be eligible, applicants for the Awards must be working in the field of human nutrition in the UK and be within three years of their first academic appointment.

The Pump Priming grants have been made possible through BNF’s management of the Drummond Memorial Fund, established in 1954 in memory of the work of Sir Jack Drummond, who made a significant contribution to developments in the application of nutrition science for public health benefit.