Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition

DNBS

Dr Anna Gryka-MacPhail is a Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition, within the DNBS Division at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Anna is also a Full Member of the Nutrition Society.

Overview

Anna is a nutritionist with experience in research, private consultancy, third sector, training, education, and public health.

Anna has got BSc (Hons) in Nutrition from the University of Surrey (2006), Master of Engineering degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland (2007) and a PhD from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen (2011). Her first degree (BA) was in teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Warsaw (2005) and gave her full teaching qualifications in Poland. Anna has also recently been awarded a Master in Public Health by the University of Edinburgh (2021).

Anna’s PhD involved leading a weight loss intervention clinical trial for people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. After that, she worked for two years as a postdoctoral research fellow in the University of Aberdeen running a randomised controlled trial looking at links between vitamin D and cardiovascular health. She then moved to the NHS Grampian Research and Development, where she spent two years working as a Training Facilitator delivering courses on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and other aspects of research for academics and health professionals involved in human research. At the same time, she also worked as a freelance nutritionist in partnership with personal trainers, helping clients lose weight, improve wellbeing and prepare for sport events. Hoping to make a difference to health and wellbeing at a higher level, in 2015 she applied for a position of Policy Officer in Obesity Action Scotland (OAS) – advocacy group based in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, where she worked for five and a half years. This experience introduced her to public health and encourage to complete Masters in Public Health training in the University of Edinburgh.

Anna worked in partnerships with academics, health professionals and the third sector. She has experience of planning, managing and implementation of both academic and non-academic projects as well as academic supervisory experience, including undergraduate projects and master dissertations. In her previous roles, she designed training courses, workshops and events, managed and developed organisational portfolio of publications including briefings, factsheets, reports, position statements and consultation responses and led on developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations with key external organisations. She also undertook media work and political engagement; including radio and TV interviews, drafting responses to media enquiries, press releases, creating social media and website content, writing blogs including invited pieces, and designed campaigns.

She was appointed as a Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition in QMU in November 2021.

Research Interests

Anna’s PhD project involved leading a weight loss intervention, specifically alteration in macronutrient content of the diet, and its effects on body composition, cardiovascular disease risk and the control of energy metabolism in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. She continued her focus on overweight and obesity during her postdoctoral research in the Robert Gordon University where she explored morphological and health-related changes associated with a self-guided exercise in overweight adults. She then moved to the University of Aberdeen, where she run a randomised controlled trial looking at links between vitamin D and cardiovascular health and was involved in physical activity assessment and other smaller projects. During her work for a non-government organisation, she wrote several rapid evidence reviews, designed polls and surveys, drafted reports, and supervised academic projects including overweight and obesity management recommendations in pregnancy, food environment analysis as well as analysis of public opinions on food-related policies.

Research Methods:

  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Polls and surveys
  • Systematic reviews
  • Dietary assessment
  • Body composition assessment (BIA, anthropometric measurements – ISAK Level 2, air-displacement plethysmography)
  • Resting Metabolic Rate (indirect calorimetry, estimated RMR)
  • Kidney function (creatinine clearance, estimated GFR)
  • Phlebotomy
  • Physical activity assessment (questionnaires, accelerometers)
  • Assessment of exposure to UVA and UVB radiation

Teaching and Learning

  • Nutrition through life course
  • Research methods (qualitative and quantitative study design, anthropometry, body composition)
  • Nutrition basics (protein, lipids)
  • Supervision of honours projects

Activities and Awards

Chosen talks/ events

Expert speaker and panelist at the Scotland’s Climate Assembly virtual meeting in January 2021: Links between diet, health and climate: Scottish context.

Guest speaker at the APSE Scotland Soft FM Advisory Group Meeting. Obesity in Scotland – what is being done about it? April 2019

Guest speaker at the Faculty of Public Health Conference 2018, Peebles. Chips, Glorious Chips! Peebles, November 2018.

Member of the panel in the Panel Discussion: A weighty issue: Understanding and Action on Obesity and Health, organised by the Voluntary Health Scotland at The Gathering in SECC Glasgow, February 2018

Chair of a member-led symposium at ASO UK Congress on Obesity (UKCO 2017), Cardiff: ‘Advocating for Change’ in September 2017. Symposium speakers included Obesity Health Alliance, Cancer Research UK and Obesity Action Scotland