You might say that Rosie Jackson is living her DREAM. Growing up in a family that was passionate about health and wellbeing triggered her interest in nutrition from an early age. A degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Otago has led to her current PhD studies working on the DREAM project.
The DREAM study
DREAM is an intervention study looking at how sleep impacts diet, physical activity and screen time in 8-12 year old Dunedin children. Rosie is investigating whether mild sleep deprivation in children increases their desire to eat unhealthy foods, and increases the amount of time they spend in front of digital devices.
Wearable cameras are used to observe the children’s behaviour, so Rosie and her colleagues can see exactly what children do when they do not get enough sleep. She hopes that this research will give the evidence needed to support sleep as a potential strategy for reducing childhood obesity in New Zealand.
An exciting research environment
Rosie trained as a dietitian and has always had an interest in childhood health. This area of study particularly interested her, as sleep intervention is a novel approach to childhood obesity prevention and treatment. Rosie finds it very exciting working within a team who are all passionate for this area of research.
"I have definitely developed a passion for research and would love to be able to continue working in the area of sleep and childhood obesity."
Advice for aspiring researchers
When she is not busy working on her research, Rosie loves to get outdoors with her family for walks on the beach, and to participate in her favourite sports. In addition to maintaining a good work-life balance, Rosie has some other words of wisdom for those interested in doing research:
"This is a great career to be in. Make sure that the research you are involved in is something you are passionate about and make the most of the opportunities presented to you."