Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Maria Maynard
About Dr Maria Maynard
Dr Maria Maynard is a Reader in Public Health Nutrition. She obtained her BSc (Hons) in Nutrition from King's College, University of London, her PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology from the University of Bristol, and is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health).
Maria previously worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Dept. Social Medicine, University of Bristol and was Senior Investigator Scientist at the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow. Maria specialises in nutritional and social epidemiology, has published a number of articles in peer reviewed journals and has presented internationally. Maria joined our University in 2013.
Maria has been Assistant Editor on the Ethnicity & Health Journal since 2008.
Maria teaches across all levels of under-graduate and postgraduate nutrition and dietetics courses. She has particular expertise and interest in research methods and is module tutor for Research Projects (Level 6), and Nutritional Epidemiology (MSc Nutrition in Practice), Level 7. Maria also provides PhD supervision and welcomes proposals from prospective students interested in research within the areas detailed above
Maria's research interests are encompassed within three intersecting themes: Ethnicity and health; Community-based communication, engagement and intervention; and Methodologies. Maria's work is theory-driven, including socio-ecological theory and behavioural change theory, within an over-arching life course framework.
Ethnicity and health
Maria has experience in researching the social determinants of health inequalities, and nutrition and health throughout the life course. With Prof Seeromanie Harding, Maria co-founded and co-managed the DASH longitudinal study of health of young people from diverse ethnic groups. She continues to collaborate on the study and to lead on diet and nutrition influences on ethnic differences in health.
Community-based communication, engagement and interventions
Expanding on findings from DASH on adolescent obesity led to work developing interventions to reduce obesity and sedentary behaviour among minority ethnic children. Extending this work into pilot interventions using participatory approaches within various community settings including places of worship will be the focus of Maria's research ambitions at Leeds Beckett University. Such small scale iterative development work is necessary to tailor interventions effectively, and ultimately will contribute to addressing stark ethnic inequity in nutrition related ill-health.
Maria's methodological expertise includes developing indices of diet quality, dietary assessment across the life course, focussing on reducing respondent burden while maintaining good quality data. She has employed quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods in studies of nutrition and health.