University of Bath

Get a free health check with our new fasting study

Start off the new year with a health kick by taking part in our intermittent fasting study.

Take part in our new fasting study and receive a free health check
Take part in our new fasting study and receive a free health check

What we're doing

Modern living means that it's often harder to eat healthily with easy access to energy-rich foods and the rising cost of maintaining a balanced diet. Intermittent fasting has received a lot of media attention as an alternative approach to eating healthily, with popular forms such as the 5:2 diet grabbing the headlines. This involves breaking up periods of normal eating with short periods of fasting. However, despite its popularity, we actually know very little about how this type of diet affects our bodies.

Through this study, our researchers want to see how just three weeks of intermittent fasting could affect our overall health, with a particular focus on how it impacts our risk of developing conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Take part

To be eligible to take part in this study you must be:

  • be 21-65 years of age
  • not currently be dieting
  • be free from metabolic disorders (e.g. diabetes)
  • have a body mass index (BMI) over 28.0 *

*If you do not know your BMI but might be interested in taking part please contact us and we will be happy to help. If you feel you are carrying a few extra pounds we would like to hear from you.

What’s involved

The study has two main phases for each participant.

  1. In phase 1 we will ask you to continue with your usual routine for four weeks while we monitor your diet and physical activity levels. We'll do this to establish what is normal for you.

  2. In phase 2 we will ask you to follow one of three diets for three weeks. These have been designed by the research group to assess the proposed health benefits of fasting, whilst still allowing at least one main meal per day.

In order to see the effect of the different diets on your physiology and health, we will ask you to come to the University campus on three separate occasions during this time for measurements of diabetes risk, body composition, metabolic rate and appetite.

What you’ll get

For taking the time to participate, the research team will give you personalised feedback on your results. This will include the following measurements and how they were affected by dieting:

  • full diet analysis and nutrient intakes
  • metabolic rate and physical activity levels
  • glucose and cholesterol levels
  • body composition
  • appetite regulation

To take part, email Iain

More about the study

Project coordinator, Iain Templeman explained: “What is interesting in this project is that we are providing the first direct comparison of two very different approaches to dieting, one based around how much you eat and another based around when you eat, which is a very new direction in heath research. With the range of health outcomes being measured and the way the diets have been designed to reduce the motivational demands, it should prove to be an interesting experience for our participants and a great chance to have a go at intermittent fasting.”

Supervisor Dr James Betts added: “This is a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a very topical piece of research. There are currently more books on intermittent fasting than published research articles and as such this type of research is essential to work out exactly what effect these diets are having on our health and how they compare to more conventional approaches.”