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 work on several projects including LITMUS (Liver Investigation: Testing Marker Utility Steatohepatitis), The School Foods Architecture study, The Hospital food environment, and I support the REF Impact team projects.

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

Research Income

  • 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




I have worked on several public health projects including:
  • 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).

I am currently working as a qualitative researcher on the LITMUS project which is 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.


  • 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:
  • ‘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)
MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research
  • ‘A systematic review: Dietary Interventions within the Hospital Food Environment and their effectiveness in improving healthier food choices for staff and visitors’ (2017)