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This article was published 4/2/2014 (3066 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dr. Heather Blewett is hoping a few good men and women will sign up and share her appetite for research.
Blewett is the principal investigator at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM), which is a partnership between St. Boniface General Hospital, the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
In general terms, research scientists from these institutions work together to study the health benefits of Canadian foods, and the disease targets they focus on are diabetes/obesity, cardiovascular disease and immune disorders, Blewett said.
The Fort Rouge resident, 36, is currently leading a clinical trial — A randomized, controlled, crossover study of the effect of snacks on appetite control — and is looking for more volunteers to participate in the study.
"Funding from the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) was used to develop two different gluten-free snacks — one is a seed, such as a sunflower seed, and the other is a bread product — that are high in protein and fibre made from Manitoba crops," Blewett said.
"We are testing them to see if they increase satiety, which is a feeling a fullness that keeps you from eating between meals. To do this, we need people to come in to the Asper Institute, eat the snack, and then fill out a questionnaire every half hour for three hours. The questionnaire asks questions about their appetite. After three hours, we give people lunch and weigh out how much they eat to see if the snack affected how much food they ate, the idea being that if the snack made them feel fuller, they will eat fewer calories at lunch. There are three visits for each snack separated by at least a week."
Blewett said the information gleaned from the study will provide some of the scientific evidence necessary to secure a health claim from Health Canada that can be put on the labels of these snacks, which in turn will help consumers choose snacks that will help them control their appetite and — hopefully — help the province’s farmers sell more products.
"The ingredients used in these snacks are grown and processed here in Manitoba. They are gluten-free and high in protein and fibre. We hope that we will be able to show that eating these snacks makes people fuller for longer than a typical snack and that their subsequent calorie intake for the rest of the day is lower," she said.
Blewett said researchers started recruiting for clinical trial participants last June and will continue with the project until 38 volunteers have completed both studies.
"We are looking for generally healthy non-smokers aged between 20 and 70, who don’t have any gastrointestinal disorders or are taking drugs or supplements that affect their appetite," Blewett said.
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Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7111.