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International Women's Day - Impact in Women's Sport - Lauren Duckworth

As part of our celebration of International Women's Day 2020 we have spoken to academics in the Carnegie School of Sport whose research is having a significant impact in women's sport.

IWD impact in womens sport Lauren

My name is Dr Lauren Duckworth and I am a Course Director within the Carnegie School of Sport.  I am passionate about women’s sport and ensuring that we work with as many women as possible within our research studies to help inform recommendations. 

My main area of academia/research is in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, where many of the recommendations we use for recreational and elite athletes are based on the findings of research performed on men.  This is usually for good reason; it can take a lot longer to carry out studies on women given the need to standardise variations in hormones, and funding and time being two particular constraints within the research that we do.  However, we must remember that women are not just male athletes adjusted for weight - women have specific nutritional needs. Carrying out research on women can develop our understanding of these needs and enable us to tailor recommendations for peak health and performance. 

I have been involved in research on women throughout my own MSc studies (glycaemic index responses), PhD study (protein and appetite) and working with colleagues within the School more recently assessing fuel use at altitude in British military women, whereby responses were markedly different to those of males.  This can be important to those travelling to altitude as the correct nutrition can not only impact performance, but also critical decision making. In addition, I was part of a team of experts that delivered a session at the Food Matters Live expo in London, titled ‘What Women Want: Nutrition for the Active Female’.  The seminar provided an overview of how manufacturers can make nutrition and health claims work in the sports nutrition industry as well as exploring where the growth is.  This is ever present through the development of stand-alone women’s fitness media publications and sports nutrition products. Firstly though, we need to find out more about these responses before we know how to tailor such information, something that we hope to contribute to within the Carnegie School of Sport.

 

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About the Author

Dr Lauren Duckworth

Dr Lauren Duckworth is the Course Director for the postgraduate suite of sport and exercise nutrition courses within the Carnegie School of Sport.

Lauren completed her PhD research at Leeds Beckett University entitled, 'Dietary Protein Manipulation in Overweight and Obese Adolescents'. Funded by Glaxo Smith Kline and supervised by Professor Roderick King and Professor Paul Gately. Lauren previously completed her BSc (Hons) in Sport & Exercise Science at Leeds Beckett University and went on to gain an MSc with Distinction in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University.

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