PhD Studentship: Adolescents’ dietary behaviour and the school environment

University of Leeds - School of Food Science and Nutrition

Project description

Adolescents’ diet in the UK falls short of dietary recommendations, with high intakes of saturated fat and sugar, low fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as a propensity for nutrient-poor and fast food. This is reflected in schools, where adolescents typically demonstrate poor food choice behaviour. The implication of unhealthy dietary patterns on public health is well documented. With more than 3 million pupils in secondary schools in England, the school environment is a sound setting for a dietary intervention. Further, this setting provides the opportunity to address health inequalities between children of different backgrounds. This mixed methods study looks to understand adolescents’ dietary behaviour within the school environment.

The intention is that this will inform the development of a public health intervention to effect behaviour change and shift adolescents’ food choice and dietary patterns. The quantitative element of this work will entail the development and subsequent statistical analysis of large datasets to examine adolescents’ dietary behaviour. The qualitative element will comprise data collection (including focus group interviews) and qualitative analysis to explore adolescents’ perspectives on their food choice parameters.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a first class or 2.1 degree or a Master’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, psychology or a numerate discipline with a keen interest in nutrition and applying mixed methods in interdisciplinary research. Applicants should have excellent interpersonal skills. Experience in quantitative data analysis would be advantageous although this is not essential. Applicants whose first language is not English will require an English language qualification, such as IELTS (7 with no element less than 6.5).

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Adolescents’ dietary behaviour and the school environment’ as well as Dr Hannah Ensaff as your proposed supervisor.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

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Northern England