Dr Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer

Senior Lecturer in Health, Nutrition and Exercise

Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer

After gaining an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Loughborough University (2004-2007), I completed an MSc by Research at the University of Gloucestershire (2007-2008) and a PhD at Loughborough University (2008-2011) in the area of paediatric exercise and nutrient metabolism.

I then worked as a Research Officer at the University of Bath, where I managed the UK site for the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment (ISCOLE). Subsequently, I was appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire to research and teach in exercise, nutrition and health. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Health, Nutrition and Exercise and co-ordinate the MSc in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Behaviour Change.

My primary research interests focus on how manipulations in physical activity and breakfast can improve cardiometabolic risk markers in children and adolescents for the prevention of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This research has included studies on breakfast consumption, glycaemic index, substrate oxidation and ‘Fatmax’ exercise, glycaemic control, insulin insensitivity, and energy balance-related behaviours (e.g., physical activity).

I am currently working on numerous projects investigating the effect of breakfast consumption versus breakfast omission on cardiometabolic health in children and adolescents, with a focus on interactions with physical activity and glycaemic control. I also collaborate with an international team of experts on ISCOLE to examine associations between breakfast consumption, physical activity and childhood obesity in children from 12 countries across the world.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Paediatric exercise, and nutrient metabolism – Loughborough University
  • MSc by Research – Exercise Physiology in Overweight Children - University of Gloucestershire
  • BSc (Hons), Sport and Exercise Science (First Class) – Loughborough University

Selected Awards and Professional Activities

Teaching Expertise

I am the course co-ordinator for the MSc in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Behaviour Change and teach undergraduate and postgraduate students from levels 4 to 7 in the following areas:

  • Dissertation supervision
  • Physical activity, nutrition and health
  • Exercise metabolism
  • Nutrition for metabolic health and related conditions
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Research Interests

  • Paediatric exercise metabolism
  • Childhood and adolescent obesity, insulin resistance and glycaemic control
  • Type 2 diabetes prevention
  • Interactions between breakfast and physical activity
  • Breakfast consumption versus omission
  • Exercise substrate oxidation

Postgraduate Research Student applications

If you have funding to complete a PhD studentship or MSc by Research, I would welcome applications from anyone interested in the areas of research outlined above.

Research Projects

  • How does breakfast consumption versus omission affect free-living physical activity and cardiometabolic health in adolescents?
  • Measuring glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity in adolescents – impact of exercise and nutrition manipulations
  • Exercise and appetite

Research profiles

Research supervision

Current:

  • Abbie Bell: ‘Reducing sedentary behaviour for the prevention of heart disease’.
  • Opie Charlett: ‘The effects of sedentary behaviour on cardiometabolic risk markers in older adults’.
  • Jane Williams: ‘Can physical activity support parentally bereaved young people?’.
  • Sahar Afeef: 'Exercise and dietary manipulations to improve insulin sensitivity in adolescent girls and boys' (external: Loughborough University)
  • Kamalesh Dey, PhD – ‘Effects of breaking up prolonged sedentary time on cardiometabolic risk markers in South Asians’

Completed:

  • Benjamin Maylor, PhD (2021). “Effects of breaking up prolonged sitting on appetite control and cardiometabolic risk markers.”
  • Victoria Morari, MSc by Research (2020).”Acute impact of breakfast consumption versus omission on postprandial metabolic responses during rest and exercise in adolescent girls.”
  • Charlotte Stringer, MSc by Research (2019). “Blood glucose response to free living interrupted sitting in overweight and obese adults.”
  • Matthew Horner, MSc by Research (2018). “Effect of environmental temperature during exercise on appetite and gut hormone responses.”
  • Rachel Horsfall, MSc by Research (2018) . “Effect of environmental temperature on appetite and gut hormone responses during rest.”
  • Charlie Orton, MSc by Research (2017). “Effects of breaking up sitting with sprint interval exercise compared with a continuous single sprint interval exercise session on cardiometabolic risk markers.”
  • Paul Mackie, MSc by Research (2016). “Independent effects of seven days of imposed exercise on free-living energy balance and appetite-regulating hormones in males.”
  • Christopher Esh, MSc by Research (2016). “The cumulative effects of seven days of imposed exercise on energy balance and appetite in men.”
  • Tatiana Plekhanova, MSc by Research (2015) . “Effects of breakfast consumption compared with omission on energy intake and physical activity in overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls.”

Academic citizenship and leadership

  • Course co-ordination roles: MSc Physical Activity, Nutrition and Behaviour Change
  • Unit co-ordination roles: Nutrition for Metabolic Health and Related Conditions (BSc); Lifecycle Nutrition (BSc); Metabolic Health (MSc)
  • Research leadership roles: Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR) Centre for Health, Wellbeing and Behaviour Change Deputy, postgraduate research student lead, ISPAR Seminar Series Lead (2013 to 2020), ISPAR Conference Lead (2016 to present)

Funded Projects

  • British Nutrition Foundation Pump Priming Awards (2018), Jones R and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Acute impact of breakfast consumption and omission on glycaemia and insulinaemia in adolescent girls’. £4796 awarded. (Co-applicant).
  • Nutrition Society Summer Studentships (2018), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘The effects of breakfast consumption and breakfast omission on free-living physical activity energy expenditure and energy intake in adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast skippers’. £2500 awarded. (Supervisor).
  • Society for Endocrinology Summer Studentships Projects (2016), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, 'Interaction between environmental temperature and appetite regulation'. £2850 awarded. (Supervisor).
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants (2015-2017), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK and Tolfrey K, 'Interaction of breakfast consumption with daily energy expenditure in adolescent girls'. £9990 awarded. (Principal Investigator).
  • University of Bedfordshire Teaching and Learning Projects (2014-2015), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK and Bailey D, ‘Utilisation of dietary analysis software to develop an authentic problem-based learning environment to enhance student learning'. £2838 awarded. (Principal Investigator).
  • Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust Grant (2011-2012), Tolfrey K and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Effect of exercise energy expenditure on subsequent energy Intake in overweight and non-overweight children'. £8400 awarded. (Co-applicant).
  • Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust Grant (2009-2010), Tolfrey K and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Effect of breakfast glycaemic index on fat oxidation during subsequent low to moderate exercise’. £7000 awarded. (Co-applicant).

Selected publications

  • Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Horsfall RN, Cottrill DC, Hough J. (2020). Acute exposure to a hot ambient temperature reduces energy intake but does not affect gut hormones in men during rest. Br J Nutr, 22;1-25.
  • Hough J, Esh C, Mackie P, Stensel DJ, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK. (2020). Daily running exercise may induce incomplete energy intake compensation: a 7-day crossover trial. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 45(4):446-449.
  • Maylor BD, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Stensel DJ, Orton CJ, Bailey DP. (2019). Effects of Frequency and Duration of Interrupting Sitting on Cardiometabolic Risk Markers. Int J Sports Med, 40(13):818-824.
  • Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Gillison FB, Katzmarzyk PT, Mire EF, Broyles ST, Champagne CM, Chaput JP, Denstel KD, Fogelholm M, Hu G, Lambert EV, Maher C, Maia J, Olds T, Onywera V, Sarmiento OL, Tremblay MS, Tudor-Locke C, Standage M; ISCOLE Research Group. (2019). Association between breakfast frequency and physical activity and sedentary time: a cross-sectional study in children from 12 countries. BMC Public Health, 19(1):222.
  • Bailey DP, Orton CJ, Maylor BD, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK. (2019).Cardiometabolic Response to a single high-intensity interval exercise session versus breaking up sedentary time with fragmented high-intensity interval exercise. Int J Sports Med, 40(3):165-170.
  • Maylor BD, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Orton CJ, Bailey DP. (2018). Beneficial postprandial lipaemic effects of interrupting sedentary time with high-intensity physical activity versus a continuous moderate-intensity physical activity bout: A randomised crossover trial. J Sci Med Sport, 21(12):1250-1255.
  • Maylor BD, Edwardson CL, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Champion RB, Bailey DP.(2018). Efficacy of a multi-component intervention to reduce workplace sitting time in office workers: a cluster randomized controlled trial. J Occup Environ Med, 60(9):787-795.
  • Tolfrey K, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Thackray AE. (2018). Metabolism and Exercise During Youth-The Year That Was 2017. Pediatr Exerc Sci, 30(1):38-41
  • Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Wells EK, Crawford NSG, Afeef SMO, Tolfrey K.(2018). Physical activity duration but not energy expenditure differs between daily compared with intermittent breakfast consumption in adolescent girls: a randomized crossover trial. J Nutr, 148(2):236–244.
  • Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Plekhanova T, Mandila D, Lekatis Y, Tolfrey K. (2017). Effect of breakfast omission and consumption on energy intake and physical activity in adolescent girls: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr, 118(5):392-400.
  • Gillison F, Standage M, Cumming S, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Rouse P, Katzmarzyk PT. (2017). Does parental support moderate the effect of children’s motivation and self-efficacy on physical activity and sedentary behaviour? Psychol Sport Exerc, 32:153-161.
  • Bailey DP, Maylor BD, Orton CJ, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK. (2017). Effects of breaking up prolonged sitting following low and high glycaemic index breakfast consumption on glucose and insulin concentrations. Eur J Appl Physiol, 117(7):1299-1307.
  • Tolfrey K, Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, Smallcombe J. (2017). Metabolism and exercise during youth. Pediatr Exerc Sci, 29(1):39-44.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Tolfrey K. Carbohydrate needs of the young athlete. (2016). In: Kerksick CM and Fox E (eds). Sports Nutrition Needs for Child and Adolescent Athletes. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group: Boca Raton, FL, USA, pp 35-58.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Gillison FB, Cumming S, Church TS, Katzmarzyk PT, Broyles ST, Champagne CM, Chaput JP, Dentro KN, Fogelholm M, Hu G, Kuriyan R, Kurpad AV, Lambert EV, Maher C, Maia J, Matsudo V, Mire EF, Olds T, Onywera V, Sarmiento OL, Tremblay MS,Tudor-Locke C, Zhao P, Standage M for the ISCOLE Research Group. (2015). Associations between breakfast frequency and adiposity indicators in children from 12 countries. Int J Obes, 5:S80-S88.
  • Potter CR, Zakrzewski JK, Draper SB, Unnithan VB. (2013). The oxygen uptake kinetic response to moderate intensity exercise in overweight and non-overweight children. Int J Obes (Lond), 37(1):101-6.
  • Tolfrey K, Zakrzewski JK. (2012). Invited review: Breakfast, glycaemic index and health in young people. JSHS, 1(3):149-159.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Tolfrey K. (2012). Acute effect of Fatmax exercise on the metabolism in overweight and non-overweight girls. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 44(9):1698-705.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Stevenson EJ, Tolfrey K. (2012). Effect of breakfast glycaemic index on metabolic responses during rest and exercise in overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls. Eur J Clin Nutr, 66(4):436-442.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Tolfrey K. (2012). Comparison of fat oxidation over a range of intensities during treadmill and cycling exercise in children. Eur J Appl Physiol, 112(1):163-171.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Tolfrey K. (2011). Exercise protocols to estimate Fatmax and maximal fat oxidation in children. Pediatr Exerc Sci, 23(1):122-35.
  • Zakrzewski JK, Tolfrey K. (2011). Fatmax in children and adolescents: A review. Eur J of Sport Sci, 11(1):1-18.

Selected conference Presentations

  • Fruer, J. (2018). ‘Physical activity duration but not energy expenditure differs between daily compared with intermittent breakfast consumption in adolescent girls: a randomised crossover trial’. (Oral communication). 23rd annual congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Dublin, 2018.
  • Fruer, J. (2017). ‘Associations between breakfast frequency and objectively-measured physical activity and sedentary time during different times of the day in children from 12 countries’. (Oral communication). British Association for Sport and Exercise Science Conference, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham
  • Fruer, J. (2016). ‘Effect of breakfast consumption compared with omission on free-living physical activity energy expenditure in girls’. (Oral communication). British Association for Sport and Exercise Science Conference, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
  • Fruer, J. (2016). ‘Associations between breakfast frequency and objectively-measured physical activity and sedentary time in children from 12 countries’. (Oral communication). 21st annual congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Vienna.
  • Fruer, J. (2014). ‘Breakfast, exercise and health in young people: time to move on’. (Oral communication). Invited lecture: School of Life and Medical Sciences Research Conference, University of Hertfordshire
  • Fruer, J. (2011). ‘Acute effect of Fatmax’ exercise on glycaemia, insulinaemia and fat oxidation in overweight and non-overweight girls’. (Oral communication). 16th annual congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Liverpool John Moores University.

Selected Awards and Professional Activities

Funding Awards

  • British Nutrition Foundation Pump Priming Awards (2018), Jones R and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Acute impact of breakfast consumption and omission on glycaemia and insulinaemia in adolescent girls’. £4796 awarded. (Co-applicant).
  • Nutrition Society Summer Studentships (2018), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘The effects of breakfast consumption and breakfast omission on free-living physical activity energy expenditure and energy intake in adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast skippers’. £2500 awarded. (Supervisor).
  • Society for Endocrinology Summer Studentships Projects (2016), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, 'Interaction between environmental temperature and appetite regulation'. £2850 awarded. (Supervisor).
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants (2015-2017), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK and Tolfrey K, 'Interaction of breakfast consumption with daily energy expenditure in adolescent girls'. £9990 awarded. (Principal Investigator).
  • University of Bedfordshire Teaching and Learning Projects (2014-2015), Zakrzewski-Fruer JK and Bailey D, ‘Utilisation of dietary analysis software to develop an authentic problem-based learning environment to enhance student learning'. £2838 awarded. (Principal Investigator).
  • Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust Grant (2011-2012), Tolfrey K and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Effect of exercise energy expenditure on subsequent energy Intake in overweight and non-overweight children'. £8400 awarded. (Co-applicant).
  • Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust Grant (2009-2010), Tolfrey K and Zakrzewski-Fruer JK, ‘Effect of breakfast glycaemic index on fat oxidation during subsequent low to moderate exercise’. £7000 awarded. (Co-applicant).

External Roles

  • International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe/ Dietary Carbohydrate Taskforce: Expert Group member on the ‘Health relevance of lowering post-prandial glycaemia in children and adolescents through diet’
  • Collaborator on the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment (ISCOLE), Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana, US.

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1234 793410 (ext. 4410)
E: julia.fruer@beds.ac.uk

Postal address:
Dr Julia Fruer
Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR)
School of Sport Science and Physical Activity
University of Bedfordshire
Polhill Avenue
Bedford
MK41 9EA
UK

address

School of Sport Science and Physical Activity
Faculty of Education, English and Sport
Bedford campus
Polhill Avenue
Bedford
MK41 9EA
UK

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