I am
Understanding the role of eating patterns in cardiovascular health
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Understanding the role of eating patterns in cardiovascular health

Dr Rebecca Leech, Institution: Deakin University

2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2019-2021


This research examines the role of eating patterns in relation to overall diet quality and cardiovascular health. This research is important because so few Australian adults meet national recommendations for intakes of five nutritious food group foods, and a healthy diet is essential for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Research has shown that different eating patterns, such as the timing and frequency of meals and snacks, influence health. However, we know little about eating pattern “format”, or the types and combinations of foods, eaten at meals and snacks. Our decisions to eat certain foods these eating occasions are complex and may be influenced by situational factors such as locations for eating, the presence of others and our mood states. Understanding the correlates of food choices at eating occasions is imperative to developing dietary advice that tailors to everyday eating situations.

This research utilises high quality and nationally-representative dietary and health data to examine how the timing and format of meals and snacks relate to the healthfulness of the whole diet and cardiovascular health in adults. Using dietary data collected in real-time, this research applies novel and innovative analytic methods to understand the potential drivers of food choices at meals and snacks. The results will inform pathways for interventions that will change eating pattern behaviours in order to improve national diet quality and cardiovascular health outcomes.

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

Professor Robyn Clark, Institution: Flinders University...

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Dr Costan Magnussen, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Search for healthy snack ideas...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Sodium and salt converter

Sodium and salt converter

Convert the sodium listed on food products into grams of salt or vice versa. ...

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

This webinar discusses the role of practice nurses in conducting heart health checks...

Q&A with Dr Susie Cartledge

Q&A with Dr Susie Cartledge

Q&A with Dr Susie Cartledge

Breaking down the silos - a pathway from acute hospital care to cardiac rehabilitation ...

Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance

Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance

Alliance with chronic disease prevention stakeholders...

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Absolute CVD risk clinical guidelines

Absolute CVD risk clinical guidelines

The Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk (CVD) Guidelines helps healthcare professionals identify, prevent and manage a person's risk of developing CVD. ...

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Finding time for physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart...

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

20 minutes
Serves 2

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Give yourself a chance to win up to $25,000* while helping the Heart Foundation to raise essential funds for heart research....

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for healthcare professionals....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Discover how to plan for your return to work....

Breakfast bean and mushroom pizza

Breakfast bean and mushroom pizza

Breakfast bean and mushroom pizza

20 minutes
Serves 2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems. ...

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Lamb souvlaki wraps

Lamb souvlaki wraps

Lamb souvlaki wraps

5 minutes
Serves 2

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

10 minutes
Serves 2