Dr Rebecca Pradeilles BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA
Research Fellow in Global Public Health Nutrition
Section of Public Health
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
University of Sheffield
30 Regent Street
Office: Room G033, Ground Floor, Regent Court
tel: +44(0)114 222 4021
I joined the Public Health section of ScHARR in May 2017 as a Research Fellow in Global Public Health Nutrition. After training as a dietician, I completed a Master’s degree in nutrition applied to low-and middle-income countries, followed by a Master’s degree in epidemiology and public health. I have completed a PhD in Public Health at Loughborough University in 2015, focussing on neighbourhood and household socio-economic influences on diet and nutritional status in a cohort of urban South African adolescents. Following this, I worked as a Lecturer in Public Health in ScHARR (January 2015-June 2016) and as a Research Fellow in Global Health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the department of Population Health (April 2016 - 2017).
I am particularly interested in understanding the determinants of poor nutrition (both under- and over-nutrition) and health in low- and middle-income countries (predominantly Africa and South Asia) using mixed-methods approaches. I also have interests in the nutrition transition occurring in low- and middle- income countries and in the assessment of diet in resource-poor settings. My previous research has mainly focussed on socio-economic factors acting at the neighbourhood and household levels in relation to nutrition and obesity, in both adolescents and adults in Africa. My recent work has focussed on understanding the pathways between agriculture, nutrition and health in women and children in South Asia. Developing community-based interventions aimed at improving nutritional outcomes is also an integral part of my research portfolio.
I am interested in supervising research students in the following areas: dietary assessment; nutrition transition in low-and middle-income countries; poor diet and nutrition (under- and over-nutrition, obesity-related non-communicable diseases) and their determinants, food and nutrition policy development. I currently co-supervise two PhD students, Carolyn Auma and Zakia Abdul-Haq, in topics related to global public health nutrition.
Current research projects
Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program Dietary transitions in Ghanaian cities: mapping the factors in the social and physical food environments that drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages, to identify interventions targeting women and adolescent girls throughout the reproductive life course; 2017-2019.
TACLED project: Transitions in African Cities Leveraging Evidence for Diet-related non communicable diseases. This is a MRC-led Foundation Award to study dietary transitions in African cities in Ghana and Kenya. Foundation Awards represent the MRC's first phase of research funding anticipated from the £1.5bn Global Challenges Research Fund. This interdisciplinary partnership of ten co-applicants from five academic institutions across Ghana, Kenya and the UK; 2017-2019.
LANSA project: Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia. This project is a UK Department of International Development (DFID) funded project aimed at studying the impact of agricultural programmes on the nutritional status and health populations in South Asia with a particular focus on women and children. I focus on assessing the association between women’s workload in agriculture and infant and maternal nutrition in Pakistan to identify how agriculture policy and intervention design can be strengthened to benefit maternal and child health.
Previous research projects
Birth to Twenty Plus Cohort study- Africa’s largest and longest running cohort study of child and adolescent health and development. I worked on this project in collaboration with Dr Paula Griffiths and Dr Emily Rousham from Loughborough University and researchers from the MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. The aims of this particular research were to determine the socio-economic environment in which adolescents reside and relate this to their diet and nutritional status. Furthermore, the research explored the potential for religious groups such as Churches to be used as a vehicle for obesity prevention interventions in adolescents.
TAHINA (Epidemiological Transition and Health Impact in North Africa), financed by the European commission. I was involved in the statistical analysis of the different anthropometric indices of overall and abdominal obesity in relation to socio-demographic characteristics among Tunisian women aged 35-70 years.
ALIMI (Food culture and migration in France, Mali and Morocco), financed by the French National Research Council. Coordinated by the Food Sociology team of the School of Higher Studies in Social Science (EHESS-CNRSS), Paris. I was involved in developing and implementing a dietary assessment tool (qualitative 7-day food frequency questionnaire and 24h recall) aimed at assessing migrants’ food habits in Casablanca. I was also involved in developing and testing a Dietary Diversity Score, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale and body satisfaction scale.
Gissing, S.C, Pradeilles, R., Osei-Kwasi, H.A., Cohen, E., Holdsworth, M. (2017). Drivers of dietary behaviours in women living in urban Africa: a systematic mapping review. Public Health Nutrition (in press).
Pradeilles, R., Rousham, EK; Norris, SA; Kesten, JM; Griffiths, PL; (2016) Community readiness for adolescents' overweight and obesity prevention is low in urban South Africa: a case study. BMC Public Health, 16 (1). p. 763. ISSN 1471-2458 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3451-9
Pradeilles, R., Griffiths, P.L., Norris, S.A, Feeley, A.B, Rousham, E.K. (2015). Socio-economic influences on anthropometric status in urban South African adolescents: sex differences in the Birth to Twenty Plus cohort. Public Health Nutrition, 11: 1-15.
Traissac, P., Pradeilles, R., El Ati, J. et al. (2015). Abdominal vs. overall obesity in a nutrition transition context: geographic and socio-economic patterns of abdominal-only obesity in Tunisia. Population Health Metrics, 13 (1).
Pradeilles, R., Rousham, E.K., Norris, S.A, Griffiths, P.L. (2014). Urban South African adolescents’ perceptions of their neighborhood socio-economic environments: The Birth to Twenty Plus cohort study. Children, Youth and Environments, 24 (3).