The Dietary Fibre Study

Download the information sheet here - Dietary Fibre Study Information Sheet.pdf (219 KB)

This project is being carried out by John Micah for fulfilment of a Masters in science degree with a nutrition and dietetics endorsement. Academic supervisors also involved are Dr Jane Coad (School of Food and Nutrition) and New Zealand Registered Dietitian Genelle Healey (The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited).

Project Description & Invitation

This study is being conducted to validate a questionnaire that measures the amount of a specific type of carbohydrate that is found in foods – dietary fibre. This questionnaire will be compared with a 4-day food diary where, if you decide to participate, you will be required to record everything that you eat and drink for 4 days. Which must include at least 2 week days and at least 1 weekend days, during which you will also be required to keep a record of any gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, excessive flatulence and consistency and frequency of stools.

We are also investigating perceptions of dietary fibre and perceived barriers to its intake. This will involve completing a short online questionnaire.

We would like to formally invite you to participate in this study, which will help researchers and health professionals to be able to better treat their patients by using the questionnaire once validated, to quickly and accurately estimate the amount of dietary fibre an individual may be consuming. If you wish to participate please complete the informed consent form after reading this information sheet.

Participant Identification and Recruitment

Participants will be recruited via word of mouth, email, posters and advertisements placed around Universities in Auckland and other organisations such as the AUT Millennium Institute of Sport and local gyms and the study will also be advertised to kitchen staff working in Auckland hospitals.
Those meeting the following criteria will be eligible to participate:
•    Healthy male and female individuals between the age of 19 and 65 years
•    Body Mass Index greater than or equal to 18.5 and less than or equal to 30.
•    Do not have any acute or chronic diseases
•    Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
•    Do not have food intolerances that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms (lactose intolerance etc.)
•    Not currently undertaking a special/restrictive diet

We aim to recruit a minimum of 105 participants as we want to recruit 35 low, 35 moderate and 35 high fibre consumers, in total we may potentially recruit up to 200 people.

All participants who take part in the study will go in the draw to win a Westfield shopping mall voucher valued at $100.The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted and the voucher will be posted by mail.

Project Procedures

If you choose and are assessed as being eligible to participate, you will have to measure and report your weight and height. You will receive detailed instructions on how to complete a food diary via an online video. You will record everything you eat and drink for 4 days, the portion sizes will have to be estimated using either household measures or a weighing scale, which can be lent to you. During these 4 days you will also record any occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, excessive flatulence and consistency and frequency of stools
Following this, you will complete 2 brief questionnaires online. One is the dietary fibre intake short food frequency questionnaire (DFI-FFQ) and the other examines perceptions of dietary fibre and barriers to its intake. The estimated time for you to complete the food and gut symptom diary is about 15-30 minutes a day and 5 minutes for each of the questionnaires. No visits to Massey University, Albany campus are required as communication will be online and through post.

Data Management

The data from the food diary and the DFI-FFQ will be analysed using food composition software and then compared to see how well the questionnaire can estimate intakes of dietary fibre.

The data from the perceptions of dietary fibre questionnaire will be analysed to examine if any trends exist in beliefs and barriers to dietary fibre intake.
The results will be complied as part of a thesis and submitted for examination. The raw data will then be discarded and a summary of the results will be made available to you. During and after this study there will be no way to identify you from the data received.

Your Rights

You are under no obligation to accept this invitation.   If you decide to participate, you have the right to:
•    decline to answer any particular question;
•    withdraw from the study at any time;
•    ask any questions about the study at any time during participation;
•    provide information on the understanding that your name will not be used unless you give permission to the researcher;
•    be given access to a summary of the project findings when it is concluded.
•    Completion and return of the consent form implies consent.  You have the right to decline to answer any particular question.

Project Contacts

John Micah
021 023 000 83

Dr Jane Coad
Genelle Healey (NZRD)

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

This project has been reviewed and approved by the Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Southern A, Application 16/81.  If you have any concerns about the conduct of this research, please contact Mr Jeremy Hubbard, Chair, Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Southern A, telephone 04 801 5799 x 63487, email

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