A piece of MAGIC

The Langley-Evans Blog hasn’t previously had a guest blogger, but I am always open to new ideas. Here’s a piece from PhD student Sarah Ellis.


I’m a dietitian not a magician but I am involved with MAGIC.

What I mean with this statement is that, as a clinical dietitian, I have to manage people’s expectations about what can be achieved with dietetic input alongside their commitment to make changes to improve their health. There is no magic wand moment…

Despite no magic wand I am involved with MAGIC, or less snappy but more explanatory, the Managing weight in pregnancy study. This is a collaborative study between the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals QMC campus. The main aim of the study is to find ways to support mums in getting back to a healthy weight once they have had their baby.

The sad truth is that as a nation we are getting heavier. Entering pregnancy with excess weight, or gaining too much weight during pregnancy, can have some fairly awful outcomes for both mum and baby. It is also hard to lose this excess weight once baby arrives. Despite this, the UK has no specific guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy. The main interest of the MAGIC team is in what the main predictors are of excess weight gain or retention of weight after delivery. Our aim is to come up with new ways of helping women optimise their weight and health.

The best way to find out how to support someone in achieving a goal like this is to ask them what might help. Pregnant ladies visiting the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham for either their 12 or 20 week scan were invited to take part in data collection over the next 18 months. All data collection is questionnaire based although mum’s were weighed and measured when they first agreed to take part. The questionnaires are sent out at specific times throughout the pregnancy and during the year after the birth. They ask a wide variety of questions around issues that may affect weight and cover diet, physical activity, social support etc. All of this is then painstakingly added to a data sheet. We’re now sitting on a pile of data from the questionnaires we received from the mums-to-be, and are beginning to get back the post pregnancy questionnaires.

And here’s a call to arms – We Need You (student dietitians)!

Here’s an amazing opportunity to be involved in this study and use some of this data for your dissertation. There’s a mix of quantitative and qualitative data so something for everyone. Plus you get to work with a top-notch team of researchers (did I mention my involvement). More information about the study can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01770522
If you’re interested speak with me at sbxse@nottingham.ac.uk
I look forward to welcoming you to the MAGIC team.

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