The following academic units form the submission to UoA 3:
- Human Nutrition Research Centre (HNRC)
The HNRC (established in 1994) includes academics from the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) and the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS). Our research focus is on obesity and ageing.
- Centre for Oral Health Research (COHR)
The 2008 RAE highlighted the need for greater focus in our oral health research. The COHR (established in 2010) has a mission to undertake world-class research in oral health with direct relevance to patients or to the health of the public.
Research in this submission is presented under two main umbrellas:
Molecular nutrition and translational biosciences
Health care and public health research
The following case studies demonstrate the impact of our research:
Reform of the NHS dental contractReform of the NHS dental contract
Research carried out at Newcastle University in the mid-1990s showed that the dental health profile of older people was changing rapidly: the number of people with no natural teeth was falling and a cohort of people with complex restoration needs had emerged as an important patient group. Those trends were confirmed by analysis of the 1998 Adult Dental Health Survey data, with further changes shown in children in 2003.
It became clear to policymakers that substantial reform of NHS dental services in England would be required if the projected future needs of the population were to be met.
The 2009 Steele review of NHS dentistry analysed the problems with the existing dental contract, from which a set of recommendations for public policy reform were put forward, which have now been adopted into a prototype NHS dental contract which is currently being piloted.
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Nutrition labelling adopted in the UKNutrition labelling adopted in the UK
Front-of-pack 'traffic lights' nutrition labelling adopted across the UK
One solution proposed to contribute to the resolution of the current UK obesity crisis has been to provide clear, visible and easily understood nutritional information to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing food.
Newcastle research provided two insights:
- first that consumers found it hard to interpret multiple versions of nutritional labels
- second that the label with the highest overall comprehension included traffic light colouring, Guideline Daily Amounts and the words “low”, “med” and “high” to aid decision making
This information was used by the Department of Health in their approval of a new, consistent food labelling in June 2013. This system has now been adopted by major manufacturers including MARS, Nestlé UK, PepsiCo UK and Premier Foods, and retailers including Sainsbury's, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, The Co-operative Food and Waitrose.
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Conscious sedation of children during dental proceduresConscious sedation of children during dental procedures
A second-line option for conscious sedation of children during dental procedures
Anxiety before dental procedures is common in children, and is usually managed by conscious sedation of the patient. Previously, nitrous oxide inhalation was the only method widely used in primary care, so patients who could not be thus sedated were referred for general anaesthesia.
In 2010, NICE published the first national guideline on medical sedation, which states that administration of midazolam should be considered alongside the standard technique of nitrous oxide inhalation for sedation of children.
That recommendation is based on robust evidence, the majority of which came from a series of randomised controlled clinical trials carried out by researchers at Newcastle University. Midazolam is now deployed as a second-line sedation option across the UK.
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Find out about all our REF 2014 results.