Human Nutrition Research Centre

Staff Profile

Dr Lorraine McSweeney

Post Doctoral Research Associate



I am a qualitative post doctoral Research Associate based within the Population Health Sciences Institute in the Faculty of Medical Sciences

My PhD was a mixed methods feasibility study to determine which behaviour change strategies to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviours in preschool children aged 3-5 years would be acceptable to nursery practitioners and parents.

I am a member of the Population Health Sciences Institute and work across a number of research themes including: Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism - Faculty of Medical Sciences - Newcastle University (; Public Health and Health Inequalities - Faculty of Medical Sciences - Newcastle University (; and Centre for Healthier Lives - Centre for Healthier Lives - Newcastle University ( 

I work on several projects including, NIHR Funded Evaluation of the Government's Tier 2 Weight Management Services, NIHR funded MapMe2 study, and NIHR funded UNFAIR. I also contribute toThe School Foods Architecture study, and have conducted qualitative research with The Hospital food environment.

My research interests include obesity, behaviour change interventions, health behaviours and qualitative research.

Research Income

  • Dr Lorraine McSweeney, Dr Suzanne Spence, Dr Julia Allan, James Callaghan, Paula Coulson. Newcastle Hospitals NHS staff advisory and PPI groups for staff hospital food environment intervention. Newcastle Hospitals Trust Fund. April 2022                                                        £2240.00

  • Dr Lorraine McSweeney, Dr Wendy Wrieden, Dr Suzanne Spence, Dr Catherine Haighton, Mrs Julie Anderson. Parental perceptions of the hospital food environment: a qualitative interview study. Fuse Pump Prime Research Funds Oct 2016- Oct 2017                                                                                                                         £4760.19 

  • Dr Suzanne Spence, Prof A Adamson, Dr W Wrieden, & Dr L McSweeney, Prof J Matthews, Dr L Panzone,  J Reilly, J MacMorran, R Rigby, D Stobbs, G Battista, M Lamb, Prof D Just. An evaluation of food choice architecture on food and drink consumption in 11-16y olds in North East England: a pilot study. Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard - Health of the Public 2040 Award March 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                                       £38,691.37




Current work includes:

  • NIHR Funded Evaluation of the Government's Tier 2 Weight Management Services
  • MapMe2: The refinement and development of the MapMe childhood weight management tool. (Public Involvement and Community Engagement).
  • UNFAIR: Understanding Factors that explain Avoidable hospital admission Inequalities:  To explore and develop an understanding of how local areas address health inequalities with a focus on avoidable emergency admissions.

Previous work includes:

  • Commissioning early intervention parent-infant services to increase access, improve outcomes and decrease inequalities: co-development of a commissioning support tool: This study will inform commissioning of infant mental health services through co-development of a commissioning support tool. Ultimately the aim is to increase access; improving outcomes and decreasing inequalities.
  • LITMUS: a pioneering European research project aiming to lead to new diagnostic tests to assess patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and identify those most at risk for developing severe inflammation and liver scarring.

  • The NAtional Trial of Tonsillectomy in Adults: a clinical and cost effectiveness study (NATTINA). A multicentre, randomised, controlled trial with feasibility study and internal pilot. NATTINA is looking to determine the cost effectiveness and efficiency of tonsillectomy versus conservative therapy (delayed surgery) in adults with recurrent acute tonsillitis over a 24 months follow-up period with an embedded qualitative study.

  • Parental perceptions of the hospital food environment – a qualitative interview study to determine whether hospital shops and outlets cater for families whose children visit or are in hospital.

  • Early Life and Adolescence Programme (ELAP) - is a research programme within Fuse which includes research on pregnancy, infancy, preschool and school years, adolescence and the transition to independence

  • GestationaL Obesity Weight-management: Implementation of National Guidelines (GLOWING) - Use of a theory-based intervention to facilitate the implementation of maternal obesity management guidelines in order to: Change midwives behaviour in clinical practice and improve obese pregnant women’s weight related behaviours (and postnatal).



MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research (HSC8042): 

  • Public Health Intervention Assignment Marking (2016, 2017, 2018)

Food & Human Nutrition/Food Marketing and Nutrition (UG) Hons projects:

  • Nutritional Adequacy of the Hospital Food Environment and Possible Interventions to Improve Staff and Visitor Dietary Intake: A Systematic Review (2020 - 2021)
  • Patient and Public Involvement: How does it shape the MapMe2 Study? (2020 -2021)
  • ‘Assessment of MenuCal as a tool for calorie and allergen labelling in independent food outlets in the North East of England’ (2017-2018)
  • ‘An Investigation of Drink Availability for Visitors and Outpatients in a Large Hospital in North East England’ (2016-2017)
  • ‘Sources of Non-milk Extrinsic Sugars in the diets of 11-12 year old children in Northumberland, and perceptions of school food policies that aim to reduce Non-milk Extrinsic Sugar intake in young adolescents’ (2015-2016)

Assignment marking (2020, 2021)