#345: Rebecca Leech, PhD – Impact of Meal Patterning on Diet Quality & Health

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Rebecca Leech, PhD

Dr. Rebecca Leech is a Registered Nutritionist and Nutritional Epidemiologist, based at Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

Rebecca has a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology, and in 2018, was awarded an Alfred Deakin Medal for her doctoral thesis, which examined adults’ eating patterns and their associations with diet quality and obesity.

Her postdoctoral research, extends on this, and applies novel analytic approaches to understand determinants of food intake at eating occasions and the role of eating patterns in cardiometabolic health in adults.

Dr. Leech is funded by an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship and received category 1 funding from the National Heart Foundation (NHF) Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2019.

She is also the Student Mentoring Chair for the Nutrition Society of Australia.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Defining eating occasions in research
  • Variance in methodology used to determine meal patterning
  • Why it is important to consider dietary intake at the level of meals
  • Potential benefits of a meal-based approach over a food-based framework
  • The relationship between meal patterning, nutrient intake and overall diet quality
  • Challenges in determining the relationship between eating patterns and health outcomes
  • Health impacts in different distributions of calories across the day
  • Chrononutrition research
  • Clustering of diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour

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