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Personal profile


Jorja is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Early Career Researcher. She has experience in clinical dietetic practice, foodservice and hospital based nutrition research. Her PhD explored the nutritional status of patients in subacute care and food-based strategies to prevent and treat malnutrition in this setting. In her role as Lecturer in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Jorja coordinates and contributes to the teaching of a number of units in the Bachelor of Nutrition Science and Master of Dietetics. Alongside this role, Jorja also works as a foodservice and clinical dietitian at Eastern Health. 


Current research projects underway: 

1. Eating green: Exploring environmental sustainability in hospital foodservice

Team: Collins J, Porter J, Malekpour S. 

Progress: Systematic literature review underway, baseline waste audit data collected and analysis underway, other studies in planning. 

Summary: An essential part of healthcare is the provision of three meals a day, every day, to patients. This uses energy and water, and results in food and food related waste at all stages of the process from ‘paddock to plate’. In turn, this has negative consequences for the planet and the health of its people. Consequently individuals, organisations, governments and global agencies are demanding action as a priority.

This systems-level clinical research project aims to explore environmental sustainability in foodservice at a large healthcare organisation. It will identify: what are the inputs, outputs and transformations in foodservice; how much food and food related waste is generated; how much does it cost and; what are the barriers and enablers to change. It will involve a series of interrelated qualitative and quantitative studies engaging key stakeholders and end users.

This comprehensive assessment of current practice will identify opportunities and strategies to improve the environmental sustainability of hospital foodservice. The expected outcome is the implementation of a change in policy and/or practice at a national/international level, which will benefit the environment and financial savings, allowing public funds to be redirected into patient care. This will contribute to the literature supporting evidence-based healthcare internationally.


2. Total energy expenditure in the elderly. 

Team: Porter J, Nguo K, Gibson SHuggins CECollins JKellow NJ, Truby H. 

Progress: Systematic literature review findings completed and published, analysis of literature findings underway, pilot study underway (50% participants recruited december 2018). 

Summary: In the last fifty years there has been a ninefold increase in the number of Australians aged 85 and over, to 456,600 in 2014. Accurately predicting the nutritional requirements of the elderly is essential to provide appropriate nutritional recommendations for individuals and populations to support health, wellbeing and longevity. Current equations to estimate the energy requirements of the elderly are historical and inappropriate for the contemporary aged population.

A series of studies will be undertaken that will advance knowledge and practice for estimating energy expenditure and energy requirements in older adults. A systematic literature review aims to collate and analyse the evidence for total energy expenditure in the elderly (65 years and older) measured by doubly-labelled water. Primary research will obtain pilot data on total energy expenditure in the older elderly (80 years and over) using the gold standard doubly-labelled water method. 

This research will fill a crucial gap and be of international importancein nutrition and dietetic practice. The expected outcome is a new equation for estimating energy requirements of older people, to better support nutrition status. 


Research interests

Malnutrition, foodservice, nutrition assessment, nutritional status of elderly and hospitalised populations, implementation science, sustainability

External positions

Dietitian, Eastern Health

16 Jan 2017 → …

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Projects 2015 2020

Research Output 2013 2019

A prospective study identifying a change in energy and protein intake of older adults during inpatient rehabilitation

Collins, J. C., Porter, J. A., Truby, H. & Huggins, C., 1 Feb 2019, In : Nutrients. 11, 2, 10 p., 453.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Is the type and location of grocery stores a predictor of healthy and unhealthy food availability? A cross-sectional study

Kemp, C., Collins, J. & Palermo, C., 1 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Nutrition and Dietetics. 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Total energy expenditure measured using doubly labeled water compared with estimated energy requirements in older adults (≥65 y): analysis of primary data

Porter, J., Nguo, K., Collins, J., Kellow, N., Huggins, C., Gibson, S., Davidson, Z. E., Schoeller, D., Prentice, R. L., Neuhouser, M. L., Snetselaar, L. & Truby, H., 28 Aug 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : The American journal of clinical nutrition. 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Opportunities for training for nutritional professionals in nutritional genomics: What is out there?

Collins, J., Adamski, M. M., Twohig, C. & Murgia, C., Apr 2018, In : Nutrition and Dietetics. 75, 2, p. 206-218 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review