Food behaviours and public health interventions

Programme Lead: Prof Martin White

Our programme aims to develop, evaluate and translate interventions to promote healthier diet and health. To achieve this, it aims to build understanding of the complex, dynamic relationships between consumer food markets and food behaviours, and identify opportunities for interventions in this context to promote healthier diet. The programme therefore has a concern with the role of the food industry, broadly defined, in influencing diet and health.

It aims to develop methods to measure key concepts essential to understanding these relationships. The programme focuses primarily on upstream, policy interventions that have the potential maximise population reach, impact and cost-effectiveness.

The programme pursues observational research to:

  • develop understanding of the consumer food market offer and its social, political and economic determinants
  • develop understanding of food behaviours and their social, psychological and cultural determinants.

The programme pursues evaluative research to:

  • identify opportunities for policy interventions to change food behaviours and engage with policymakers to research their implementation and evaluability
  • assess the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions that have the potential to change food behaviours.

The programme pursues methodological research to:

  • develop reliable and valid measures of consumer food markets
  • develop reliable and valid measures of food behaviours.

Programme staff

Programme students

Programme Studies

Evaluation of the impacts on health of the proposed UK industry levy on sugar sweetened beverages: developing a systems map and data platform, and collection of baseline and early impact data (PI: Martin White)

Dietary Public Health Research and the Food Industry (PI: Martin White)

Transforming the ‘foodscape’. Development and feasibility testing of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub or restaurant food (PI: Ashley Adamson, Newcastle University; CI: Martin White)

Research to support the evaluation and implementation of adult cooking skills interventions in the UK: pilot RCT with process and economic evaluation components (PI: Martin White)

Programme Publications

Meader N, King K, Wright K, Graham MH, Petticrew M, Power C, White M, Sowden AJ. Multiple risk behaviour interventions: meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. Am J Prev Med, 2017 Early online. doi 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.032.

Hillier-Brown FC, Summerbell CD, Moore HJ, Wrieden WL, Adams J, Abraham C, Adamson A, Araujo-Soares V, White M, Lake A. A description of interventions promoting healthier ready-to-eat meals (to eat in, to take away, or to be delivered) sold by specific food outlets in England: a systematic mapping and evidence synthesis. BMC Public Health, 2017; 17:93. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3980-2.

Hillier-Brown FC, Summerbell CD, Moore HJ, Routen A, , Lake AJ, Adams J, White M, Araujo-Soares V, Abraham C, Adamson AJ, Brown TJ. The impact of interventions to promote healthier ready-to-eat meals (to eat in, to take away, or to be delivered) sold by specific food outlets open to the general public: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 2016. Early online: doi: 10.1111/obr.12479

Goffe L, Hillier F, Penn L, Lake A, Wrieden W, Araujo-Soares V, Summerbell C, White M, Adamson A, Adams J. Reducing the salt added to takeaway food: within-subjects comparison of salt delivered by five and 17 holed salt shakers in controlled conditions. PLoS ONE 2016 11(9): e0163093. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163093.

White M. Population approaches to prevention of type 2 diabetes. PLoS Med, 2016; 13(7): e1002080. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002080.

Meader N, King K, Moe-Byrne T, Wright K, Graham H, Petticrew M, Power C, White M, Sowden A. A systematic review on the clustering and co-occurrence of multiple risk behaviours. BMC Public Health, 2016; 16: 657. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3373-6.

Adams J, Mytton O, White M, Monsivais P. Why are some population interventions for diet and obesity more equitable and effective than others? The role of individual agency. PLoS Medicine, 2016; 13(5): e1002045. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002045.

Adams J, White M. Characterisation of UK diets according to degree of food processing and associations with socio-demographics and obesity: cross-sectional analysis of UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008-12). Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015, 12:160. doi 10.1186/s12966-015-0317-y

Wright J, Kamp E, White M, Adams J, Sowden S. Food at checkouts in non-food stores: a cross-sectional study of a large indoor shopping mall. Public Health Nutrition 2015;18(15):2786-93. doi: 10.1017/S1368980015000178.

Adams J, White M. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of time spent cooking by adults in the 2005 UK Time Use Survey. Cross-sectional analysis. Appetite 2015; 92:185–91. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.05.022.

Adams J, Goffe L, Adamson AJ, Halligan J, O’Brien N, Purves R, Stead M, Stocken D, White M. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of cooking skills in UK adults: cross-sectional analysis of data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015;12(1):99. doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0261-x.

McGill R, Anwar E, Orton L, Lloyd-Williams F, O’Flaherty M, Bromley H, Taylor-Robinson D, Guzman-Castillo M, Gillespie D, Moreira P, Allen K, Hyseni L, Calder N, Petticrew M, White M, Whitehead M, Capewell S. Are interventions to promote healthy eating equally effective for all? Systematic review of socio-economic inequalities in impact. BMC Public Health, 2015; 15: 457. doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1781-7.

Adams J, Goffe L, Brown T, Lake AA, Summerbell C, White M, Wrieden W, Adamson AJ. Frequency and socio-demographic correlates of eating meals out and take-away meals at home: cross-sectional analysis of the UK national diet and nutrition survey, waves 1-4 (2008-12). The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2015;12(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0210-8.

Mills S, White M, Robalino S, Wrieden W, Brown H, Adams J. Systematic review of the health and social determinants and outcomes of home cooking: protocol. Systematic Reviews 2015;4(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13643-015-0033-3.

King K, Meader N, Wright K, Graham H, Power C, Petticrew M, White M, Sowden AJ. Characteristics of Interventions Targeting Multiple Lifestyle Risk Behaviours in Adult Populations: A Systematic Scoping Review. PLoS ONE, 2015;10(1): e0117015. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117015.

Browse all programme publications on CEDAR publications database