Jessica Grieger

Jessica Grieger

NHMRC Funded Research Fellow

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

I lead research on nutrition, metabolic, and reproductive health. My research program investigates how different maternal diet and lifestyle exposures associate with time to pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and future offspring health. My research program has contributed to critical findings on the relationship between pre-pregnancy nutrition and pregnancy health; and novel relationships between metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications and offspring health.


Research project 2021, Honours, Masters and PhD

Paediatrics and Reproductive health:

Maternal dietary and lifestyle exposures and offspring health.

Supervisors: Dr Jessica Grieger, Dr Tina Bianco-Miotto

Skills learned during this project: Dietary analysis; quantitative analysis; increased knowledge on developmental origins of health and disease.

Project available for: Honours and HDR

Location: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, North Terrace

Research project start: Semester 2


Research communication

Women's Health Week 2020:

The Discovery Pod Episode 3: Nutrition


Selection of my research highlights

1. Metabolic syndrome and pregnancy and offspring health:

Obesity increases the risk for developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia (PE), which both associate with increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women in later life. In the general population, metabolic syndrome (MetS) associates with T2DM and CVD.  I initiated and led the analysis from over 5500 women throughout their first pregnancy to investigate whether MetS was associated with risk for pregnancy complications. Overall, 12.3% (n=684) had MetS. These women were at a higher risk for developing GDM and PE by 2-4 times. Increasing body mass index in combination with having MetS further increased the likelihood for developing GDM (PLOS Medicine 2018). We then demonstrated that physical activity did not modify the association between MetS and risk for GDM (Acta Diabetol 2021). My research program was also the first to show that MetS in pregnancy was associated with shorter telomere length, a biomarker of aging, in children aged 8-10 years of age (Diabetologia 2020).

Research article:

Media links:

Research article:

Research article:


Dietary intake and pregnancy outcomes:

1. Maternal nutrition can have a profound effect on fetal growth, development, and subsequent infant birth weight. Preconception dietary patterns have not been assessed in relation to perinatal outcomes. We retrospectively collected food frequency questionnaires in a group of 309 pregnant women. We were the first to show that a high fat, sugar and take-away dietary pattern increased the risk of preterm birth, whereas a diet high in protein and fruit reduced the risk for preterm birth. Modification to poor dietary behaviours, pre-pregnancy, may be beneficial to improve perinatal outcomes and the long-term health of the child.

Research article:

Diet and lifestyle factors associated with infertility:

Time to pregnancy (TTP) is a measure of how long a couple takes to conceive, and infertility is the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Several lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity, have consistently been associated with a longer TTP or infertility, but the role of preconception diet in women remains poorly studied. Healthier foods or dietary patterns have been associated with improved fertility, however, these studies focused on women already diagnosed with or receiving treatments for infertility, rather than in the general population. Our multi-centre SCOPE cohort study (n=5598 pregnant women), was the first to show that a lower intake of fruit and higher intake of fast food in the preconception period were both associated with a longer TTP. In women with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 12%, and in those who ate fast food four or more times a week, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 16%. These findings underscore the importance of considering preconception diet for fertility and preconception guidance.

Research article:

Media links:


Total funding: $3.2 M (1.1 M as CIA; 2.1 M as Co-investigator)

2021 Course coordinator: PUB HLTH 3007 Nutrition: Ideology, Individuals & Industry

4010_HLTH_SC_2105 Reflect. Research. Resolve

Workshop coordinator, Nutritional Health stream


HLTH SC 3100 Exercise, Nutrition and Metabolism:

Practical demonstrator (Dietary methodology)

2017, 2015

HLTH SC 3100 Exercise, Nutrition and Metabolism:

Guest lecture (nutrition and fertility; energy expenditure and cardiovascular health)

2008 -2009 Co-lecturer: Nutrition 1, Penn State University, PA, USA


  • Position: NHMRC Funded Research Fellow
  • Phone: 83137697
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
  • Room: WS6062.44
  • Org Unit: Women's and Children's Health

Connect With Me