Professor Jennie Macdiarmid
BSc (Hons), PhD
Interim Director, Professor in Sustainable Nutrition and Health
Jennie is a Professor of Sustainable Nutrition and Health and the Interim Director of interdisciplinary challenge Health, Nutrition and Well-being. She gained a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Surrey, during which she spent a year working at the CSIRO research laboratories in Melbourne, Australia. After graduating she worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Food Research (Norwich) and the University of Dundee (Psychology dept) investigating chocolate and eating behaviours. In 1997 she completed her PhD at the University of Leeds (Psychology), after which she spent 18 months working for the International Obesity Task Force in Aberdeen. Before joining the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen in 2006, she worked in department of environmental and occupational health in the medical school. Her research focuses on food and nutrition security and the impact of diets on climate change and land use. This includes understanding how to change dietary habits to be healthier and more environmentally sustainable.
- BSc Nutrition and Food Science1991 - University of Surrey
- PhD Nutrition and Psychology1997 - University of Leeds
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition Research Committee
University of Aberdeen Senate committeee (2017-2020)
- External Memberships
FAO/WHO International Science Committee: UN dietary guiding principles for sustainable and healthy diets (2019-20)
International Union of Nutritional Sciences Task Force on Sustainable Diets (2018- present)
Scientific committee British Nutrition Foundation (2020- present)
FAO/WHO International Consultation Group on Sustainable and Healthy Diets (2018-2019)
BBSRC Global Food Security Science Advisory Group, UK (2017-2020)
BBSRC Public Panel Steering group, UK (2014-2016)
Scientific Committee for International Sustainable Food Systems and Diets (Daniel et Nina Carasso Foundation, France) (2012-2017)
The food system and climate change: are plant-based diets becoming unhealthy and less environmentally sustainable?Proceedings of the Nutrition SocietyContributions to Journals: Articles
The impact of climate and societal change on food and nutrition security: a case study of MalawiFood and Energy Security, vol. 10, no. 3, e290Contributions to Journals: Articles
How important is healthiness, carbon footprint and meat content when purchasing a ready meal?: Evidence from a non-hypothetical discrete choice experimentJournal of Cleaner Production, vol. 282, 124510Contributions to Journals: Articles
Food and Nutrition Security under Global Trade: A relation-driven agent-based global trade modelRoyal Society Open Science, vol. 8, no. 1, 201587Contributions to Journals: Articles
The role of healthy diets in environmentally sustainable food systemsFood & Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 41, no. 2_suppl, pp. S31-S58Contributions to Journals: Articles
Prizes and Awards
Excellence award: Principal's Prize for Research & Engagement in Interdisciplinary Research Award (2021).
Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement with Research in Biomedical Sciences Awarded by the University of Aberdeen and Wellcome Trust (2015).
Food and nutrition security
Food systems and sustainable diets.
Dietary behaviours, habits and food choices.
Nutrition and Health
Key research projects:
1. Dietary behaviours and habits in the context of shifting to sustainable diets with complex social systems: agent-based modelling (RESAS Scottish Government funding).
2. DEVIL - Delivering Food Security on Limited Land (Belmont Forum/FACCE-JPI project).
3. AFRICAP - Agriculture and Food-Systems resilience: increasing capacity and advising policy (GCRF funded).
4. Sustainable and Healthy diets in India (SAHDI) Wellcome Trust.
5. Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS), UK, India, South Africa Wellcome Trust
6. Young people’s views about climate change and eating less meat. Pump-priming Interdisciplinary Award.
7. Food insecurity and dietary diversity among low-income migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in India. GCRF pump-priming Award.
Previous research areas:
Obesity and policy & behaviours
Eating behaviour and chocolate addiction
Occuptional health (long term health impact of diving)
BBC (Scotland) Disclosure: climate change documentary (2021)
Café Med “The route to healthy and environmentally-friendly diets”
Café Controversial “Buy one, throw one out” (public talk)
CPD: using research in ‘real life’.
University of Leeds, UK.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
Kings College London, UK.
James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK
International collaboration, including USA, Australia, Brazil, India, Switzerland, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania.
Ndashe Kapulu (2019-present) Soy transition and implications for agri-food systems in Zambia.
Lucy Sam (2016-present) Investigation of domestic food practices and routines, and their determinants.
Charlotte Hall (2014-2019) Environmental consequences of delivering food security.
Renaud Heckle (2014-2019) Constraints and opportunities to integrate beekeeping into mixed farming in Sub-Saharan countries.
Henri de Ruiter (2013- 2017) Implications of meeting a healthy diet for sustainable land use.
Liam McMorrow (2012-2018) An economic analysis of food choice and its associations with health inequalities.
Tania Griffin (2007-2011) SNAK: educational intervention to improve the knowledge of non-milk extrinsic sugars and energy balance among children aged 11-12 years.
Funding and Grants
University of Aberdeen pump-priming Interdisciplinary Award (2021) Young people’s views about climate change and eating less meat. £7K.
University/GCRF pump-priming award (2020-21). Food insecurity and dietary diversity among low-income migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in India. £50K (£87K FEC).
GCRF (2018-2023) AFRICAP - Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy. University Leeds, University of Aberdeen, Chatham House, FANRPAN, Met Office
Scottish Government (Rural and Environment Research Analysis Directorate) (2017-22) Programme of research on sustainable diets.
Wellcome Trust (2017-2019) Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS). London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Aberdeen.
Belmont Forum/FACCE-JPI International Collaborative Research Funding (2015-2019). DEVIL (Delivering Food Security on Limited Land), International multidisciplinary partnership (8 countries). Led by University of Aberdeen.
National Nutrition Security: Daniel and Nicol Carasso Foundation. Nutrition security and international trade in the UK. €10K.
Wellcome Trust (2014-16) Sustainable and healthy diets in India. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Aberdeen.
Scottish Government (2014) Guidance for caterers on children’s menus. Aberdeen University. £9,791.
Food Standards Agency Scotland (2012-13) Estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions of the Eatwell week. Aberdeen University.
WWF-UK (2010) Livewell project: A balance of healthy and sustainable food choices. University of Aberdeen.
Food Standards Agency Scotland (2010-2011). Survey of diet, influences on food choices and eating practices among children in Scotland in 2010. University of Aberdeen
Food Standards Agency Scotland (2007-2008) Secondary Analysis of the Survey of Sugar Intake among Children in Scotland. University of Aberdeen.
Scottish Government (Rural and Environment Research Analysis Directorate) (2009-12) Environmental Determinants of Public Health in Scotland (EDPHiS) Obesity case study. Unversity of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow.
Health and Safety Executive (2004-5) Further investigation of the possible musculoskeletal, cognitive deficit and hearing deficit due to welding in divers identified in the ELTHI Diving study. Aberdeen University.
Health and Safety Executive (2003) Identification of factors affecting quality of life in divers and offshore workers. University of Aberdeen.
Health and Safety Executive (2002) Attitudes to safety culture among divers and offshore work. University of Aberdeen.
MSc course: Sustainable Nutrition and Global Food Systems
Lecture on the following courses:
MSc Human Nutrition & Metabolism
MSc Global Health
MSc Global Nutrition
Fundamentals of Research Design
Sixth Century Course on World Food
MSc Nutrition (University of Glasgow)
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The environmental impact of nutrition transition in three case study countriesFood Security, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 493-504Contributions to Journals: Articles
Global agricultural, food and energy price spikes: Impacts on low income households in the United Kingdom and policy optionsInternational Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 246-264Contributions to Journals: Articles
Assessing land requirements associated with UK food consumption: implications for food security and environmental sustainabilityProceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 74, no. OCE1, pp. E119Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Impact of disaggregation of composite foods on estimates of Eatwell plate proportions in the diets of adults in ScotlandProceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 74, no. OCE3, pp. E188Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Is “home cooked” healthier and cheaper than ready meals?Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 74, no. OCE1, pp. E90Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Updates to nutrient composition databases can influence observed changes in nutrient intakes: results from national surveys of diet among children in Scotland in 2006 and 2010Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 74, no. OCE3, pp. E203-E203Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
Seasonality and dietary requirements: will eating seasonal food contribute to health and environmental sustainability?Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 368-375Contributions to Journals: Articles
"It was an education in portion size":: Experience of eating a healthy diet and barriers to long term dietary changeAppetite, vol. 71, pp. 411-419Contributions to Journals: Articles
Priority research questions for the UK food systemFood Security, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 617-636Contributions to Journals: Articles
When is a Healthy Diet Not a Sustainable Diet?Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 63, no. Suppl. 1, pp. 973Contributions to Journals: Abstracts