Tamworth dietitians put country music festival diets to the test

TESTING TIMES: Tamworth dietetics students Madison Beringer and Natalie Vella helped test festival-goers at the Centrepoint Mall. Photo: Jacob McArthur 240118JMA01
TESTING TIMES: Tamworth dietetics students Madison Beringer and Natalie Vella helped test festival-goers at the Centrepoint Mall. Photo: Jacob McArthur 240118JMA01

WHEN the city goes into festival-mode, you might become out of kilter with the rhythm of a good diet.

Soon we’ll have the numbers to back it up.

Researchers and students from the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health had their fingers on the pulse and their measuring tapes taut during festival taking health measures from local and visiting revellers.

The research follows-on from a similar project at AgQuip, last year.

Dietitian Leanne Brown said the festival and AgQuip research would help target areas of nutritional concern in rural areas.

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“With AgQuip, we found the people who came along were largely from rural areas, particularly small rural areas without a lot of access to health services,” Dr Brown said.

“We get a lot of locals and a lot of people coming from interstate.

“We’re going to come back and target some areas of concern with some brief health interventions at AgQuip this year and country music next year  and the plan is to do that over many years.”

The festival research included height, weight and waist measures, as well as blood pressure, arterial stiffness and colour testing which calculates carotenoids under the skin.

Dr Brown said there was still a lot of work to be done to improve fruit and vegetable intake.

“Some people do really well, but people get scores that suggest their fruit and veggie intake is really low,” she said. “There’s always barriers to doing that whether it’s access or it;s seen as a high cost and it can be depending where you live and also just the convenience factor.

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