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School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Staff Members

Dr Amelia Lake

Lecturer in Knowledge Exchange in Public Health in the Centre for Public Policy & Health
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40668
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 40361
Room number: F104, Wolfson Research Institute, Queen's Campus, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH

(email at


Dr Amelia A Lake is a dietitian and public health nutritionist. Amelia works as an Assistant Professor in Knowledge Exchange in Public Health at Durham University and is a member of fuse - The Centre for Translational Research. Her current work is to explore the Obesogenic Environment. Amelia has a particular interest in the food environment, the environments of young people, the workplace environment and knowledge exchange. Her research involves transdisciplinary collaborations to examine how the environment interacts with individual behaviours.

Amelia received her first degree from Glasgow Caledonian University and worked in the Health Service before taking up a research post with Newcastle University, where she completed a PhD and held a prestigious NIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship on the topic of Obesogenic Environments. One of the outcomes from this fellowship was the publication of a collected volume on Obesogenic Environments. Amelia previously worked as Senior Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition at Northumbria University, where in June 2010 she was awarded the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) Young Achiever Award for her Obesity research. 

Amelia represents the British Dietetic Association on the Public Health Responsibility Deal's Food Network High Level Steering Committee (since 2014). Amelia is a member of the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Scientific Advisory Panel (Sept 2010), and since March 2010 has worked with the BNF on their European Food Framework Topic Advisory Group on diet. Amelia is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Task Group on 'Takeaways & Obesity' (Sept 2010) and was a member of the Food Standards Agency Register of Specialists for Social Science (April 2009). Recently Amelia has been an ASO Trustee (2006-2010), a member of Nutrition Society Council (2007-2010) and also a Research Committee member for the British Dietetic Association (BDA) (2000 - 2005). Amelia is a co-founder of the North East Obesogenic Environment Network (NEOeN) and until recently was the chair of the North East Obesity Forum (ASO regional group). Amelia was also a Beacon for Public Engagement Fellow as well as being a regular contributor to her profession's publications. Amelia is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has extensive experience of working with non-specialist audiences as well as academics, has produced various training programmes and related material.

Amelia enjoys spending time with her young children, travel, food, cooking, Pilates, cycling and fundraising for The David Ashwell Foundation.  

Research Interests

Obesogenic Environments, Food Environments/ Foodscapes, Measuring the Food Environment, Nutrition, Food Choice, Food and Health in the Workplace, Complex Systems, Dietary Change, Behaviour Change, Knowledge Exchange, Intervention Design and Evaluation.

Recent Grants

  • The Children's Foundation 'Consumption of energy drinks by children and young people in County Durham: an exploratory study to inform future policy and practice' 2014 Co Investigator with S. Visram (PI), D. Riby (Durham University) and M. Cheetham (Teesside University)

  • PHE 'Work & Health & Wellbeing: An academic scoping exercise' 2014
  • NIHR SPHR 'Transforming the ‘foodscape’: development and feasibility testing of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub or restaurant food' Co-investigator with Adamson, AJ (PI) (Fuse Newcastle), Abraham, C (Exeter Medical School), Adams, J (Fuse Newcastle), Araujo-Soares, V (Fuse Newcastle), Lake, A (Fuse Durham), Moore, H (Fuse Durham), Summerbell, C (Fuse Durham), White, M (Fuse Newcastle). £446,646 2013 - 2016
  • Wolfson Blue Skies Award 'Obesity, community nutrition and increasing physical activity: a change in responsibility' 2012
  • Northumberland County Council 'Exploring uptake of free school meals' 2010
  • NIHR Public Health Research Programme 'Evaluation of the ‘Change4Life’ convenience store programme to promote sales and consumption of fruit and vegetables' £1,407,206. Co-investigator, with M White, AJ Adamson, J Adams, G Cairns, S Cummins, C Donaldson, A Findlay, S Macintyre, M Petticrew, V Ryan, L Sparks & M Stead. N.B. This grant was withdrawn after award due to changes in circumstances making the project unfeasible
  • NHS North of Tyne Workplace intervention evaluation 2010 - 2011
  • FSA PhD Studentship 09/2009 - 09/2011
  • ESRC CASE 1+3 PhD Studentship 09/2009 - 09/2012
  • Royal Society Conference Grant 06/2009
  • Newcastle-Durham Beacon for Public Engagement Fellowship 01/2009-12/2009
  • National Institute for Health Research Post-doctoral Award 01/2006-12/2008
  • Rank Fund Vacation Studentship for Summer 2008 06/2008-09/2008
  • Royal Society Conference Grant 07/2007
  • ESRC Seminar Series 07- 09 Time-Space and Life-Course 12/2007- 12/2009.

Studentships and current PhD Students

I am happy to supervise postgraduate research with a focus on obesogenic environments, obesity, food choice, food environments, the workplace and the development and evaluation of interventions to improve dietary behaviours.

  • 2015 -2019 Natassia Robinson BBSRC PhD Studentship through internal competition (Newcastle/Durham/Liverpool University Doctoral
    Partnership Training Scheme) DNA methylation as a mediating mechanism linking early-life events and subsequent obesity: finding intermediate biomarkers of obesogenic environments PI Jill McKay & Heather Brown Co-I’s Mark Pearce and Amelia Lake. Funding covers 4 years stipend, student fees and consumables (£5000/annum).
  • 2014 - 2017 Sarah Smith fuse PhD Studentship (co-supervised with Prof Summerbell, Dr Hiller-Brown and Dr Vera Araujo-Soares) The workplace foodscape: developing interventions which target dietary behaviours to tackle the obesogenic environment

Recently completed:

  • 2009 - 2012 Rachel Gallo Gonzalez 1+3 ESRC CASE Studentship (co-supervised with Tim Townshend & Dr L Ells) in collaboration with NEPHO Exploring the relationship between prevalence off overweight and obesity in 10-11 year olds and the outdoor physical environment, North East England.
  • 2010 - 2012 Rachel Tyrrell Food Standards Agency PhD Studentship (co-supervised with Prof Adamson, Dr Hodgson (Newcastle University) & Dr Wills (University of Hertfordshire). Exploring adolescent food choice using a food environment exposure perspective.
  • 2007 - 2011 Thomas Burgoine 1+3 ESRC Quota award student (co-supervised with Dr S Alvanides (Geography, Northumbria University) Predisposed to Obesity? A Study into Environmental Equity and the possible Obesogenic Environment of North East England.


  • Association for the Study of Obesity Younger Achiever Award 2010
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Post-doctoral Fellowship 2006-2008
  • Invited to Rank Fund Symposium on Adiposity & awarded presentation prize Sept 2007
  • Royal Society Conference Grant for ISBNPA Oslo June 2007 & ICDAM Washington June 2009
  • Nutrition Society Travel Award for 10th International Congress on Obesity Sydney 2006
  • Runner-up BA Charles Darwin Award Lecture February 2005
  • Winner Poster Prize Clinical Medical Sciences Research Day January 2005
  • Runner-up BNF Young Scientist Award December 2003
  • Selected to attend the European Nutrition Leadership Programme March 2003
  • Winner of Van den Bergh Foods Travel Fellowship 2000 May 2000
  • Winner of BDA Elizabeth Washington Award 1998 December 1998

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Member of the British Dietetic Association and registered with the Health Professions Council (registration number DT.7605).
  • Member of the Nutrition Society, Association for Nutrition and Registered Public Health Nutritionist.
  • Member of the British Sociological Association's Food Study Group
  • Member of the International Society for Behavioural Nutrition & Physical Activity.
  • Member of the Association for the Study of Obesity.

Selected Invited Conference Presentations

  • September 2014 The Physiological Society Conference Obesogenic Environments: The Food Environment
  • July 2014 Local Government Association Interventions in out-of-home food outlets in England
  • May 2014 CEDAR Cambridge University Measuring Food Environments
  • June 2010 ASO Conference Young Achiever Award: Measuring Food Environments
  • March 2010 North East Food Partners Event Measuring the Food Environment
  • August 2009 CASE Europe Conference Research and the media: A perfect match?
  • July 2009 Firefit conference Durham Healthy Eating at Work
  • May 2009 North East Physical Activity Forum Gateshead Obesogenic Environments
  • April 2009 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health - Royal Town Planning Institute Joint Conference London
  • October 2008 National Obesity Forum London Food & the obesogenic environment of young adults
  • September 2008 British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) London Keynote Lecture
  • June 2008 ASO Obesity & the Built Environment London Measuring the Food Environment
  • April 2008 4th National Conference on Obesity and Health Birmingham Exploring the Obesogenic Environment

External activities

Member of the Responsibility Deal Food Network High Level Steering Committee representing the British Dietetic Association (since July 2014)

Guest Editor for a Special edition of 'Perspectives in Public Health' on Obesity (July 2011)

Associate Editor for BMC Public Health

Associate Editor for the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health

British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Scientific Advisory Panel (Sept 2010 - present)

Expert on the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Task Group on 'Takeaways & Obesity' (Sept 2010)

European Food Framework Topic Advisory Group on diet co-ordinated by the British Nutrition

Foundation (March 2010 - present)

Member of the Food Standards Agency Register of Specialists for Social Science (April 2009)

Nominated and elected to The Nutrition Society Council (July 2007- July 2010)

Elected committee member for the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) (Oct 2006- present)

Co-organiser of the North East Obesity Forum Meetings (ASO regional Group) (2007 - 2012)

Founding member of NEOeN (North East Obesogenic Environment Network)

Editor for a collected volume on Obesogenic Environments (Blackwell Wiley) published in 2010

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • (Accepted). Public Health Nutrition (The Nutrition Society Textbook).

Chapter in book

  • Lake, A. A., Townshend, T. G. & Bourgoine, T. (2017). Obesogenic Neighbourhood Food Environments. In Public Health Nutrition. Buttriss, J.L., Welch, A.A., Kearney, J.M. & Lanham-New, S.A. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 327-338.
  • Townshend, T.G., Gallo, R. G. & Lake A.A. (2015). Obesogenic Built Environment: Concepts and Complexities. In The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being: Shaping a sustainable and healthy future. Barton, H. Thompson, S. Burgess, S & Grant, M Abingdon: Routledge. 199-210.
  • Lake, A. A. & Midgley, J.L. (2010). Food policy and food governance - changing behaviours. In Obesogenic Environments: complexities, perceptions and objective measures. Lake, A. A., Townshend, T & Alvanides, S. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Alvanides, S., Townshend, T & Lake, A. A. (2010). Obesogenic environments: challenges and opportunities. In Obesogenic Environments: complexities, perceptions and objective measures. Lake, A. A., Townshend, T & Alvanides, S. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Townshend, T.G., Ells, L., Alvanides, S. & Lake, A. A. (2010). Towards transdisciplinary approaches to tackle obesity. In Obesogenic Environments: complexities, perceptions and objective measures. Lake, Amelia A., Townshend, Tim & Alvanides, S Wiley Blackwell.
  • Townshend, T. & Lake, A.A. (2008). Sustainable and Healthy Urban Form: linking well being, obesity and the built environment. In Ecopolis: Conceptualising and Defining Sustainable Design. Babalis, D

Edited book

Journal Article

Show all publications

Research Groups

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

  • Physical Activity Special Interest Group

Research Projects

Department of Geography

  • School for Public Health Research, £180,000

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Medical and health research topics:
  • Nutrition:
  • Obesity:
  • Public policy, health and well-being:
  • Health & Welfare:
  • Nutrition:
  • Obesity:
  • Public policy, health and well-being: