Dr Chara Biggs






BSc Masters Dietetics

BSc Honours Dietetics

Diploma in Hospital Dietetics

BSc Dietetics

BSc Biological Sciences

Office Block:

Room B7b

Basement Floor

Rabie Saunders Building

Agriculture Campus







+27 (0)33 260 6153

+27 (0)33 260 5818



Biographical Sketch

Dr Chara Biggs is a therapeutic dietitian. She also has a degree in botany and zoology.

Academic Profile

Dr Biggs has been lecturing diet therapy at the University for 20 years and is responsible for the development and lecturing of the therapeutic modules of the degree which include lifestyles diseases, medical and surgical dietetics.

She has successfully supervised 2 Msc students and is currently involved in the supervision of 4 MSc and 1 PhD student in the fields of diet therapy, sports nutrition, food labelling and human nutrition and food security. She has been a principal investigator in the field of HIV and nutrition.

She is a member of the Association of Dietetics in South Africa and was on the initial committee when it was being established and is registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Professional Activities

She is actively involved with the South African Jockey and Equine Research Institute (SAJEI)

Community Activities

She is involved in a research-led community engagement with South African apprentice jockeys to improve body composition, combat hydration and improve their nutritional intake


Current Teaching / Courses

Diet therapy medical, diet therapy surgical


Research Interests / Areas of Specialty

Her specialised research is in the area of hydration and its application in both sport and industry as well as nutrition in HIV/AIDS.


Research Projects

  • Determining accurate methods of body composition in SA apprentice jockeys and an effective rehydration regime.
  • Current practices of registered dietitians treating diverticulitis in SA and whether they agree with the current treatment guidelines.
  • The bifidobacteria content of asymptomatic HIV infected people after 3 months of inulin supplementation.
  • Whether nutritional labelling of health foods in SA meets the SA nutritional labelling laws.

Academic Service

Discipline of Dietetics and Human Nutrition Academic Coordinator (2008-2010); current Research Leader


Publications (Recent)

  • Biggs C, Paterson M, Maunder E. Hydration status of South african forestry workers harvesting trees in autumn and winter.Discipline of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa. Ann Occup Hyg. 2011 Jan;55(1):6-15. Epub 2010 Oct 25.
  • Biggs, C. (2013). Clinical dietetic practice in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in a high HIV setting. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 26(2): 175-181.
  • Gordon, R. E., Kassier, S. M. & Biggs, C. (2015). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. DOI 10.1186/s12970-015-0080-0.
  • Zimpita, T., Biggs, C. & Faber, M. (2015). Gardening practices in a rural village in South Africa 10 years after completion of a home garden project. Food & Nutrition Bulletin 36(1): 33-42.

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