Manuela Rigo

PhD Candidate

Manuela is a PhD Candidate at the CASS Food Research Centre in the area of food choices in middle childhood, children aged 5 to 12 years, using both top-down and bottom-up processes. Top-down process are slow, reflective & well considered decisions in line with long term goals, e.g., health, while bottom-up processes are stimulus-drive, impulsive, automatic and usually occur without consideration of long-term consequences.

In the industrialised food environment, high energy food cues and marketing of these cues are omnipresent in the environment, this food is easily accessible and inexpensive. Manuela’s research will use these food cues, both packaged and unpackaged, over three studies to determine food choice and consumption in children, and determine if individual differences in children’s traits and temperament render some more vulnerable to the influences of food cues than others.

Prior to commencing her PhD Manuela worked in health research at Deakin University, Nutrition Biomed, Gowrie Victoria and the Cancer Council Victoria.



  • Rigo M, Willcox J, Spence A, Worsley A. Mothers’ Perceptions of Toddler Beverages. 2018 Mar 19; 10(3). pii: E374. doi: 10.3390/nu10030374.
    This paper was presented at the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) 42nd annual scientific meeting 2018 in Canberra, Australia
  • Mann D, Riddell L, Lim K, Byrne, L, Nowson C, Rigo M, Szymlek-Gay E, Booth A. Mobile Phone App Aimed at Improving Iron Uptake and bioavailalbility in premenopausal Women: A Qualitative Evaluation. JMIR mHealth and Uhealth 2015;3(3):e92Grimes CA, Baxter JR, Campbell KJ, Riddell LJ, Rigo M, Liem G, Keast R, He F, Nowson CA. A cross-sectional study of 24-hour urinary electrolyte excretion and associated health outcomes in a convenience sample of Victorian primary schoolchildren: the Salt and Other Nutrients in Children. JMIR Research Protocols. 2015;4(1):e7 DOI: 10.2196/resprot.3994
  • Bassett JKEnglish DRFahey MTForbes ABGurrin LCSimpson JABrinkman MTGilesGGHodge AM. Validity and calibration of the FFQ used in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Public Health Nutr.2016 Sep;19(13):2357-68. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016000690. Epub 2016 Apr 14
    • Role: Project Coordinator


Research interests and skills:

Food marketing; Children’s food choice and consumption; Overweight in children; Teaching; Project management; Recruitment; Cooking and food science.