Close up image of a tape measure
Nutrition and lifestyle establish an appropriate energy balance that is crucial for metabolic health. When this energy balance is disturbed, chronic diseases may arise that affect people from cradle to grave. Improving metabolic health amongst the general population is, therefore, an important concern of public health policy. 
PIHR has key strengths in a number of areas of preventative metabolic health including nutrition; dietetics and obesity. This also links to the Metabolic health and regenerative medicine sub-theme, which comes under Enhanced patient experience

Dietetics, Human Nutrition and Health

The Dietetics, Human Nutrition and Health group undertakes research on dietetic practice and the nutritional management of disease. In addition, its public health nutrition sub-theme, led by Dr Clare Pettinger is concerned with the promotion and maintenance of nutrition related health and wellbeing of populations through the organised efforts and informed choices of society. Pettinger is leading the Plymouth arm of the ‘FoodSEqual: co-production of healthy and sustainable food systems for disadvantaged communities’ project
The group also has a particular interest in the metabolism of iron and nitrate-nitrate, and has collaborated with colleagues in Dentistry to develop new products to promote a healthy oral microbiome. 
They have recently developed a Covid-19 Recovery Knowledge Hub to support patients who have developed long-term symptoms after catching Covid. 

Health risk factors

Pinkney leads a large programme of obesity research, including the origins of weight gain and obesity, impact on health, diabetes, development of effective prevention strategies and treatment interventions. Trials in this area include PROGROUP (ImPROving GROUP treatment for people with severe obesity) (Pinkney, Swancutt), an NIHR funded, multicentre national study. 
Lloyd and Pinkney have used personal narratives of obesity to elevate the views of service users and explore the relationship between subjective illness models and motivation to engage in treatment in people referred to tier three weight management services.


Our Hepatology Research Group explores the implications of alcohol misuse (Dr Ashwin Dhanda), obesity (Sheridan) and viral hepatitis (Cramp) for liver health. 
Other areas of expertise with respect to health risk factors include respiratory health (Dr Rupert Jones), with research on exposure to particulate pollution, especially in the developing World; and oral health inequality and public health promotion (Professor Mona Nasser, Thompson, Witton, Paisi).