Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Lois White is a Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition.

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After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition from Queen Margaret University (QMU) in 2009, I commenced a PhD studentship in 2010 in collaboration with Edinburgh University and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh. My PhD research looked at the epidemiology of paediatric coeliac disease (CD) in Scotland and factors associated with adherence to the gluten-free diet (GFD) in teenagers with CD. During this time I was awarded a number of research scholarships to present findings at symposiums in Italy, Finland and America and was selected as the plenary speaker at the prominent Royal College for Paediatrics and Child Health conference. The findings have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. Throughout my studies I gained a keen interest in the wider socio-political determinants of health and volunteered with a number of third sector organisations including Cyrenians, Pilton Community Health Project and Meal Makers.

After completing my PhD I worked as Legacy Development Officer for the Scottish Government funded Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus (HSCB) programme for three years. My key responsibilities included supporting community projects and schools to embed food/cooking education and evaluating the short and medium term impact of the HSCB. This position lead to additional community nutritionist posts at Lanarkshire Community Food & Health Partnership and Edinburgh Food Social where I managed, co-produced and delivered a variety of work around food poverty, ‘holiday hunger’, maternal wellbeing and nutrition, practical cooking skills development and food sustainability.

In addition, I played an instrumental role in the validation of the MSc in Gastronomy at QMU in 2013 and taught the Science of Food module over the first two years. I speak regularly at events/conferences and have recently featured on STV’s Live at 5 programme and BBC Scotland’s The Kitchen Café.

Research Overview

I designed four separate studies for my PhD research, utilising both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. A mail-shot survey was designed to collect data on the prospective incidence of paediatric CD in Scotland and a retrospective case-note review to identify the incidence between 1990 and 2009 in southeast Scotland. I also designed an e-reporting study to assess the dietetic management of newly diagnosed children with CD. The fourth and final study was a cross-sectional study of adolescents with CD. Data on nutritional intakes was collected and factors associated with compliance to GFD including HRQoL were assessed. For this study I developed a data collection tool called the revised GCAS to look at burdens associated with CD and following a GFD. I am currently supervising a PhD exploring the experiences of men attending cooking classes and an MSc Dissertation assessing population knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of vitamin D.

Active research interests

  • Coeliac Diseas
  • Vitamin D
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Food education interventions
  • Community food and nutrition interventions
  • Alternative food systems 

Research Methods

  • Multi-centre, cross-sectional design
  • Prospective active surveillance
  • Retrospective case note review
  • Questionnaire design
  • Case study design
  • Narrative review
  • Focus group and in-depth interviews

I primarily teach in the areas of public health, health promotion, health education, nutrition, behaviour change, epidemiology and research methods.

Princess Alice Award to present research at the annual ESPGHAN conference Sorrento, 2011

QMU Knowledge Exchange Grant to present research at the annual AOECS conference Helskini, 2013

Santander Research Scholarship to present PhD results at the International Celiac Disease Symposium Chicago, 2013