Researching Manitobans’ lifestyles, health

Rural volunteers needed for U of M research program


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This article was published 19/06/2017 (2103 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

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University of Manitoba researchers are looking for rural Manitobans between ages 30 to 46 to volunteer for a study that could improve prevention of chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney disease.

The Manitoba Personalized Lifestyle Research program is headed by Dr. Peter Jones, senior director at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals. He said research for the program has been underway in Winnipeg for over a year with approximately 800 participants involved, and is about to start in rural Manitoba. About 400 additional participants are needed to complete the study. Volunteers must have lived in Manitoba for at least five years.

“We’ve got to take this show on the road, “Jones said, referring to the mobile research unit that will be used by a team of four to measure volunteers’ blood pressure, take bodily fluid samples, run a body scan, conduct an activity test using an exercise bike, and administer a questionnaire.

Jones said the U of M was lucky to be able to get the converted bus from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“We’ve dressed it up but inside it’s a rolling laboratory. We’re delighted to have it.”

The program’s purpose is to gather data on factors such as nutrition, sleep, physical activity, genetics and gut microbiomes. Jones said the data will be securely stored and kept confidential and anonymous.

“This is a snapshot. It’s a single point in time,” he said, adding that the same study might be replicated in five or 10 years to be able to compare how changes in lifestyle factors can impact disease risk.

He said a few similar programs have been conducted in other parts of Canada, but this is the first entirely involving Manitobans.

Volunteer participants must attend a two-hour session on each of two consecutive days. The research team will provide participants with their information from the measurements performed such as the body scan, blood pressure and strength test. Participants will also be remunerated for their participation in the trial.

The mobile research unit will be in Carman, Man. for about three weeks, but Jones said that it will be travelling to Portage la Prairie at some point.

For more information on TMPLR, see

Andrea Geary

Andrea Geary
St. Vital community correspondent

Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.

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