Dr Clare Pettinger

Dr Clare Pettinger

Lecturer in Public Health Dietetics

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)


I am a Registered Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) and experienced lecturer with a track record in 'food choice' research. With a developing interest in food poverty/justice and the 'future of food', I am currently leading a small scale research project 'Food as a Lifestyle Motivator' (FLM), which explores creative methods to engage 'marginalized' communities in food activities to enhance their health, well-being and life skills. See link: FLM project 

I have recently led a comprehensive process evaluation of the Cities of Service 'Grow Share Cook' project in Plymouth (see link below). I have also recently completed a research fellowship, working with Dr Katrina Bannigan, Associate Professor (Reader) in Occupational Therapy to evaluate the initial stages of the Thrive Plymouth (4-4-54) 10 year inequalities programme. This culminated in the development of a new University led Public Health Forum (link available soon). I was was previously on the research team for an exploratory and developmental trial of a family centred nutrition intervention delivered in Children's centres and the home environment (UCL/UoP collaboration). 

Passionate about Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition, I am an inspired and informed educator, frequently acting as an advocate for my two professions by sharing my knowledge with students and offering expert consultancy on sustainable healthy eating and food related issues to the media and local/regional networks. I believe strongly that new approaches are required to tackle current local (and global) health and social wellbeing challenges. 

I am a 'sustainability champion', nominated for a SSTAR award for sustainability in the curriculum in 2017. I am also an active member of the Food Plymouth partnership (Food Plymouth CIC) http://foodplymouth.org and sit on various local strategic steering groups.


1999   BSc Hons Nutrition & Dietetics, Glasgow Caledonian University (2i)

2004   PhD Public Health Nutrition, University of Nottingham "A comparison of the influences on food choice in Southern France and Central England"

2007   Post Graduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Professional membership

Health & Care Professions Council - Registered Dietitian
Association for Nutrition - Registered Nutritionist (Public Health)
Member of British Dietetic Association (BDA) 
Public Health Nutrition Network (BDA specialist group)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (from 2008)

Roles on external bodies

Accreditation Assessor for the Association for Nutrition

Food Plymouth (Plymouth Food Charter) Steering group. Director of Food Plymouth CIC (from 2014-2016)

Trevi House Project Sunflower steering group (from 2016)

Teaching interests

Main teaching responsibilities include Undergraduate (Dietetics) and PostGraduate (Human Nutrition):

'Food choice'/access; Public Health Nutrition; Inequalities, food (in)security and poverty; Epidemiology; Research skills

I also deliver Public Health Nutrition for other faculties

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a keen interest in enhancing student learning experiences. 

Nominated for SSTAR award (Feb 2017) for 'sustainability within the curriculum'

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner for Masters Nutrition & Public Health Management at Sheffield Hallam University (2013-2017)

Research interests

My research falls into two broad fields:

1. Public Health Nutrition
2. Pedagogy 

1. Public Health Nutrition          
(current) The 'Food as a Lifestyle Motivator' (FLM) project: Using Creative methods to explore food as a lifestyle motivator to enhance health, well-being and life-skills in marginalized communities.  Funded by ISSR, ESRC and British Academy

Evaluation of community food projects (cooking growing eating); community engagement (see Grow Share Cook evaluation report in publications)

2. Pedagogy

(current) Exploring the importance of 'sustainability principles' for dietetic practice and how to streamline these into the dietetic curriculum

Supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties on placement

Grants & contracts

1. Public Health Nutrition

Current (2017) British Academy/Leverhulme small grant (£10K) to evolve the creative methods used in the 'Food as a Lifestyle Motivator' (FLM) to turn these into solutions for engaging individuals through food activities.

2015 (April) £3K Plymouth City Council - independent evaluation 'Grow Share Cook'

2010 £1500 Dept Health local - evaluation consultancy 'Food Cultures' http://realideas.org/sites/default/files/food_cultures_final.pdf

Plymouth University internal funding bids:

2014 (March) £5K - ISSR small collaborative award - food as a 'lifestyle motivator'

2015 (Jan) £1K - IHC pump priming grant 

2015 (June) £1K to run ESRC Festival of Social Science food event

2016 (June) £1K to run ESRC Festival of Social Science food event

2. Pedagogy

2014 (Jan) £19K Inclusivity Development project 'creating an interactive toolkit for supporting health profession students with Specific learning difficulties on placement

2016 (June) £4500 PedRIO Teaching Innovation fund 'exploring importance of sustainability principles for dietitians.

Research groups

  • Plymouth Inequalities Group

Key publications are highlighted

Pettinger C 2007 ''All under one roof?' differences in food availability and shopping patterns in Southern France and Central England' The European Journal of Public Health 18, (2) 109-114 , DOI
Pettinger C, Holdsworth M & Gerber M 2007 'Meal patterns and cooking practices in Southern France and Central England' Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 51, 308-309
Pettinger C, Holdsworth M & Gerber M 2006 'Meal patterns and cooking practices in Southern France and Central England' Public Health Nutrition 9, (8) 1020-1026
Pettinger C, Holdsworth A & Gerber A 2004 'Psycho-social influences on food choice in Southern France and Central England' Appetite 42, (3) 307-316
Pettinger C 2009 'Revisiting British Meals' in Meiselman HL Meals in Science and Practice: Interdisciplinary research and business applications Oxford Woodhead Publishing Ltd

Other academic activities

Admissions tutor for BSc(Hons) Dietetics programme - Values Based Recruitment 

Actively engaged in activities that promote (nutritional and sustainable) health and wellbeing of staff in the University

Peer reviewer for various journals: e.g. Appetite; Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics; Public Health Nutrition

Invited reviewer for Department of Health Policy Research Programme

Additional information

Personal interests:

Mother of twin boys (Clyde and Jago), born July 2011

Music and performance (was lead vocal in 9 piece soul/funk band www.thecuckoocollective.info; now sing in 4 female a capella group The Q-dettes); art and craft; cooking; fund-raising; walking, running, swimming...