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Professor Pinki Sahota

About Professor Pinki Sahota

Pinki Sahota is Professor of Nutrition and Childhood Obesity and a Core Member of the Institute for Health and Wellbeing. Her expertise and research interests include the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions addressing nutrition.

Since moving into academia from professional practice, Pinki has established a strong track record and profile in tackling nutrition and childhood obesity, building on her NHS professional background as a Registered Public Health Nutritionist (RPHn) and Registered Dietician (RD) with nearly 20 years of experience as a community dietician.

Her expertise lies in childhood nutrition and childhood obesity and her key interests are in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects to improve public health and reduce health inequalities in a wide variety of settings. She is interested in working with a range of stakeholders including colleagues from health, social care, voluntary sector and industry, who are keen to gain a better understanding of the issues and design and deliver better solutions to these major public health challenges.

Pinki is a member of the Childhood Obesity Research Group of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. She is the Chair of The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) and co-chair of the Regional ASO group. She was an invited member on the Regional Funding Committee of the NIHR Research for Patients Benefit Group and has recently been invited to be a member of the International Scientific Committee for the European Congress on Obesity to be held in Liverpool in May 2013. She is a consultant for Danone Baby Nutrition and chairs the Expert Group for the "Feeding for Life" Foundation which supports the education of health professional working with infants and families.

Transforming childhood nutrition: "Professionals and parents must work together to get young people up for a lifetime of good health." - Professor Pinki Sahota - School of Clinical & Applied Sciences

Current Teaching

Pinki teaches across all levels on undergraduate and postgraduate Dietetics and Public Human Nutrition (PHN) courses at our University. She has been Course Leader and led the development of the first PHN course in the UK to be mapped against Public Health competencies and was successful in gaining accreditation for the course with the professional body (The Association for Nutrition).

She has expertise in research methods and skills and public health approaches in nutrition and obesity and she teaches across a range of modules. She is also responsible for the co-ordination of all final year individual student dissertations which have regularly been commended by external examiners. She has supervised Masters and PhD students and regularly acts as external examiner of PhDs.

Research Interests

Pinki's work is fundamental in developing more effective approaches to the increasing challenge of promoting healthier eating and weight management particularly in school-aged children and the early years, and is of key interest to colleagues leading on health, children's wellbeing, education, social care and families looking for more effective, better value, evidence-based approaches.

The vital importance of early interventions to prevent obesity is now increasingly being recognised. Professor Sahota is at the forefront of this work both through her research and through the development of more effective approaches including "Empower", a health visitor-led programme, and "HELP", a children's centre-based programme targeting parents which are clearly contributing to the current evidence base and influencing practice. She also regularly provides expertise to the DH and NICE on issues related to childhood obesity.

Other current major research programmes include:

  • The "Born in Bradford" study funded by a NIHR Programme grant aimed at improving the health of children from multi-ethnic communities and addressing childhood obesity
  • Funding from NHS Scotland Health to identify effective behavioural treatment components in child and adolescent obesity management programmes. The results of the review are published on the NHS Scotland website and provide information on effective behaviour change approaches that should underpin clinical guidelines for childhood obesity treatment programmes
  • Major evaluation of PhunkyFoods, a primary-school nutrition and physical activity education programme

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