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Are you really what you eat?

Aston University in Birmingham, UK has launched a unique new laboratory facility dedicated to solving the mysteries that lie in the relationship between the food we eat and the human brain.

The Nutrition and Behaviour Lab is part of a recent expansion of Aston’s internationally recognised research in this area by Laboratory Director, Dr Michael Green and colleagues.

The lab will provide a resource for investigating the impact that different foods and supplements have on behaviour and well being, as well as enabling researchers to explore the efficacy of weight loss regimes and other dietary related health choices. Researchers will also carry out in-depth studies into how likes or dislikes for certain foods are acquired and how they can be changed along with the impact this has on food choice, health and well being.

Researchers will also have access to a variety of state of the art scanning facilities including EEG (electroencephalogram), MEG (magnetoencephalogram) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain imaging systems, which makes this facility unique.

The new lab will offer a range of services to the public and business as well as benefiting students starting a new MSc in Nutrition and Behaviour in October 2007. Some of the services on offer include claim support (such as psychological health claims regarding food, food components and nutritional supplements), glycaemic index testing (the length of time that a food or drink keeps us energised for), and a complete dietary analysis service. The laboratory will also offer body composition analysis and investigations into how variables such as eating rate and energy intake are affected by nutritional interventions and other environmental factors.

‘The lab is already attracting interest from dieticians from the food industry and other academics across the UK. We are hoping that it will generate interest in teaching, research, collaboration and consultancy,’ said Dr Julia Brown.

Hannah Brookes | alfa
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