University of Newcastle offering health tests at AgQuip 2017

TUCKER TEST: Tracy Schumacher and Kelly Squires from the University of Newcastle can rate diets with the spectrophotometer. Photo: Gareth Gardner 190617GGA06
TUCKER TEST: Tracy Schumacher and Kelly Squires from the University of Newcastle can rate diets with the spectrophotometer. Photo: Gareth Gardner 190617GGA06

RURAL diets are getting put to the test.

Nutritionists and dietitians from the University of Newcastle are setting up shop at AgQuip to help field day punters get a picture of how their diets stack up.

Among the rural supplies, cattle breeders and tractor stalls, the university might stand out, but academic Tracy Schumacher thinks curiosity will capture the interest of the rural throng.

“Everyone is interested in food and everyone wants to know how they compare to the average,” Dr Schumacher said.

University representatives will be offering diet surveys, height, weight and waistline measurements, and conducting tests with a spectrophotometer.

A gadget initially used to match paint colours, the tool can now be used to examine fruit and vegetable intake, and carotene levels, through the skin.

Dr Schumacher said the test looks at longer-term diets, so it couldn’t be skewed by a traditional AgQuip steak sandwich.

“There’s nothing you can do on the day,” Dr Schumacher said.

“It looks at the last three to six months.”

University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health director Leanne Brown said the free health assessments would give people an idea of how their diets fared.

“We know from national health data fruit and vegetable intake is not as good the further you get from metropolitan areas,” Dr Brown said.

AgQuip runs from Tuesday, August 22 to 24 at 134 Blackjack Rd.