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Dr Frances Hillier-Brown

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Frances has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds (2003); an MSc Human Nutrition specialising in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow (2004); and a PhD in Health Sciences from Durham University titled “The development and evaluation of a novel online tool for assessing dietary intake and physical activity levels for use in adult populations” (2011). She is a member of the Association of the Study of Obesity and the Nutrition Society, and is an associate member of Fuse (the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health).

Frances is a research associate in public health nutrition whose research interests include dietary and physical activity assessment, behaviour change, intervention evaluation and health inequalities. She joined Durham University in October 2008 having previously worked at Teesside University on the systematic review of food, nutrition and physical activity determinants of weight gain as part of the World Cancer Research Fund Systematic Literature Review (SLR) Centre, and the systematic review of the effect of diet on learning and performance of school aged children, funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). At Durham University she has worked on the Community Challenge Project, a three-year FSA-funded programme aimed at promoting healthy diets and levels of physical activity in adults living in the Tees Valley; the NIHR funded project titled Tackling Inequalities in Obesity, comprising of two systematic reviews of the effectiveness of public health interventions at reducing socio-economic inequalities in obesity amongst children and adults; and the NIHR School for Public Health Research funded project ‘Foodscape’, which aimed to develop and test the feasibility of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub and restaurant food.

Frances is currently working on the Health Inequalities in European Welfare States (HiNEWS) project, funded by NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe). She also helps to manage the Public Health England funded Equal North Research and Practice Network, which aims to bring together academics, researchers and practitioners in North England who have a common interest in tackling health and social inequalities.

Research Groups

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Research Projects

Department of Geography

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2011: Tackling inequalities in obesity: How effective are public health interventions at reducing socio-economic inequalities in obesity amongst children and adults? - NIHR-PHR, March 11-April 13