Understanding Food Insecurity and Dietary Habits: A Comprehensive Analysis

The world's population has undergone unprecedented demographic change due to both the increase in life expectancy and rapid population growth, which has raised concerns about food availability, particularly in remote regions. In rural Australia, food insecurity affects a significant portion of the population, due to lower incomes, high food costs, and limited access to fresh produce. Vulnerable groups face additional challenges due to socioeconomic factors and geographic isolation, leading to adverse health outcomes.

To address these issues, this study aims to assess the nutritional status and well-being of Australian residents by analysing anonymous urine samples to search for any abnormalities that could indicate a health risk, otherwise known as biomarkers. These biomarkers have been previously identified and are associated with the intake of certain foods and foodborne contaminants.

Previous research has shown correlations between biomarkers and socioeconomic factors that offer promising insight into dietary habits and societal trends. Hypotheses were formulated regarding the correlation of food intake with socioeconomic status, age, gender, and geographical remoteness. This experiment replicates previous methodologies of other experiments but focuses on pooled urine instead of wastewater by utilising advanced analytical techniques.  


Project members

Nicole Schroeter

PhD Candidate

Prof Jochen Mueller

Theme Leader, Emerging Environmental Health Risks

Dr Jake O’Brien

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Richard Bade

Senior Research Fellow