Microbiology and Immunology’s Professor Gerald Tannock has received a funding grant of $250,000 for a joint New Zealand-Singapore project which will investigate the link between weaning food patterns and obesity.
He and colleagues at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) and the National University Health System (NUHS) will study the effects of weaning foods on the make-up of complex bacterial communities in infants’ bowels.
Previous research has shown bowel microbiota are potential contributors to obesity through releasing additional calories to the body through degrading and fermenting food elements that are otherwise indigestible.
The two-year project is one of five newly announced New Zealand-Singapore collaborative research projects on the development of food products with validated health benefits.
The contract for the project commences this month and is funded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s International Relationships Fund, with a matching contribution from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).