Nutritional epidemiology

Human nutrition research is key to understanding and improving health in society. Our research-intensive group creates, advances and disseminates nutrition research to make an impact on population health.

The research programme of Nutritional Epidemiology aims to address the complex issues involved in the assessment of nutrition as an exposure; obesity in terms of prevention, management and treatment; and their relationship to associated chronic disease outcomes. Our research has a life course focus, with studies on diet in pregnancy, childhood, adolescents and the elderly. One emphasis is exploration of the relationship of diet to chronic disease development.

Much of this work draws on the UK Women’s Cohort Study, one of the largest and longest running studies of this type in the UK Our public health and policy facing work has led to changes in Government advice around consumption of caffeine in pregnancy and supported national guidance on sugar intake. On the international stage, we are developing a WHO Collaborating Centre in Nutritional Epidemiology, the first of its kind in the world. We are supporting them with a range of tasks including work on National Diet and Nutrition Surveys in Europe and portion size determination.

Another exciting development is the creation of a University spin out company, Dietary Assessment Ltd, to support the development of our new online dietary assessment tool This tool has strong academic underpinning with detailed feasibility and validation studies. It includes a unique branded food composition table, is quick and easy to use, and provides real time feedback. We are developing this for use in teaching as well as research. We have developed versions for use in Australia, Germany, Denmark and Singapore, with more countries planned including an Arabic version, giving the tool an international reach.

Our research has won awards! Dr Charlotte Evans was awarded the 2016 Nutrition Society Public Health Nutrition Medal. This recognises her excellence in the field of Public Health Nutrition around sugars and health.

Research team

If you are interested in collaborating with us or joining our research team, please get in touch. View all members of the nutritional epidemiology theme.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective PhD students. Potential projects can be found in our postgraduate research opportunities directory.