Alice Roberts

Host university: Newcastle University

PhD research project: Exploring opportunities to improve the food and drink environment in UK secondary schools

Project summary:  My research is looking at opportunities to alter the secondary school food and drink environment with the aim of improving adolescents’ health-related behaviours.

Currently in the UK, rates of overweight and obesity remain high in children and adolescents. Furthermore, adolescents’ dietary intake fails to meet the governments recommendations in some key areas, for example, they consume too little fruit and vegetables, but intake of free sugars remains well above the recommendations.

The school food and drink environment provides an ideal opportunity to work towards improving adolescent dietary intake in the short term and weight status in the long term, through alterations to the environment to encourage adolescents to make healthier food choices.

My project will work with secondary school staff and pupils to co-design an intervention which aims to alter the school food and drink environment in a way which they want but also works well for the school and can be sustained beyond the running of an intervention.

This process will put school staff and pupils’ views at the front of the intervention development so they can truly have a role in designing this intervention.

My background and research interests:  I graduated from the University of Leeds with an Integrated Master’s degree in Nutrition and have since become an Accredited Nutritionist.

My research interests focus on children’s health, looking more closely at school food and the school food environment.

Expected PhD completion date: September 2024

Contact: [email protected]