Nutritional epidemiology

Nutrition has been thought to be important in cancer – as much, if not more so, than tobacco. Diet has been considered especially important for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and for breast cancer and prostate cancer.

To date, we've been able to give little by way of direct advice on diet and cancer and have left this largely to the National Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia. We developed our Nutritional Epidemiology Theme to address this gap in knowledge, with a strong focus on dietary assessment and on prospective studies. The dietary questionnaires developed for this purpose have gained wide acceptance by the public health community in Australia. We continue working to maintain our leading edge in this technology.

Current projects

The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (Health 2000)

The predictors of type 2 diabetes in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study

Risk factors for prostate cancer

Dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer

Risk factors for breast cancer

Body size and composition, physical activity and colorectal cancer

Risk factors for lymphohaematopoietic malignancy

Multiple imputation of missing data

Health2000 follow-up

The predictors of healthy eating and physical activity in Health 2000

Provision of dietary analysis to other researchers

Development and evaluation of tools for dietary epidemiology

The predictors of type 2 diabetes in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study

Investigator(s): Allison Hodge, Dallas English, Graham Giles, Maria Makrides* (*External collaborator)

Objective(s): To examine associations between lifestyle factors, particularly diet, and incidence of type 2 diabetes within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.

Risk factors for prostate cancer

Investigator(s): Baglietto L, English DR, Giles GG, Hopper JL, MacInnis RJ, Severi G

Objective(s): To determine the lifestyle risk factors for prostate cancer.

Dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer

Investigator(s): Dallas English, Graham Giles, Allison Hodge, Robert MacInnis, John Hopper*, Finlay MacRae*, Mark Jenkins*, Robert Gibson*, Andrew Haydon* (*External collaborators)

Objective(s): To determine the dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer

Investigator(s): Baglietto L, English DR, Fletcher AS*, Gertig DM*, Giles GG, Hodge AM, Hopper JL*, MacInnis RJ, Simpson JA (*External collaborators)

Objective(s): To determine the lifestyle risk factors for breast cancer.

Body size and composition, physical activity and colorectal cancer

Investigator(s): Dallas English, Graham Giles, Allison Hodge, Robert MacInnis, John Hopper*, Finlay MacRae*, Mark Jenkins*, Robert Gibson*, Andrew Haydon*, Dorota Gertig* (*External collaborators)

Objective(s): To determine the metabolic risk factors for colorectal cancer incidence and survival using actual measurements of body size, including measured waist and hips circumferences, and non-adipose and adipose mass measured by bioelectrical impedance.

Risk factors for lymphohaematopoietic malignancy

Investigator(s): Robert MacInnis, Dallas English, Graham Giles

Objective(s): To determine the risk factors for lymphohaematopoietic malignancies.

Multiple imputation of missing data

Investigator(s): Julie Simpson, Dallas English, Robert MacInnis, Graham Giles, Dorota Gertig*, John Hopper* (*External collaborators)

Objective(s): To use 'multiple imputation' for analyses of the MCCS where a large proportion (>10%) of the data are missing.

Health2000 follow-up

Investigator(s): Graham Giles, David Hill, Dallas English, Melanie Wakefield, John Hopper*, John McCallum*, Andrew Tonkin*, Jeremy Jass* (* External collaborators)

Objective(s): To increase the research value of The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, particularly for molecular and genetic epidemiology and age-related disability, by following up subjects face-to-face in order to collect additional biospecimens molecular and genetic research, and to update physical and other measures so as to be more temporally relevant to age-related disability, and disease events.

The predictors of healthy eating and physical activity in Health 2000

Investigator(s): Graham Giles, Dallas English, David Hill, Allison Hodge, Helen Dixon, Melanie Wakefield, Lucinda Johnson.

Objective(s): The principal aim is to discover what socio-demographic variables, psychometric indices, lifestyle factors, and health beliefs predict over time the:

  • maintenance of optimal eating and physical activity patterns
  • improvement of sub-optimal eating and physical activity pattern
  • adherence to poor eating and physical activity patterns
  • extent to which changes in eating and physical activity patterns coincide in middle-aged Australians.

Provision of dietary analysis to other researchers

Investigator(s): Allison Hodge, Graham Giles

Objective(s): To provide a tool for dietary studies to researchers around Australia.

Development and evaluation of tools for dietary epidemiology

Investigator(s): Allison Hodge, Julie Simpson, Dallas English, Graham Giles

Objective(s): To develop and evaluate tools for dietary epidemiology.

Updated: 09 Dec, 2014