About Rhiannon Day
Rhiannon Day is a Research Assistant currently working within Nutrition and Childhood Obesity within the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences at Leeds Beckett University.
Since Rhiannon’s appointment as Research Assistant to the Institute for Health and Wellbeing in 2012, Rhiannon has worked on a number of research projects within the departments of Health Promotion and Nutrition and Childhood Obesity. Most recently, Rhiannon formed part of a research team that undertook a feasibility study of the acceptability and feasibility of a primary school-based nutrition and physical activity educational programme (PhunkyFoods) delivered within primary schools in Halifax. Rhiannon was responsible for a large part of the process evaluation, carrying out considerable qualitative and quantitative data collection (questionnaires, interviews with staff and focus groups with children) and was responsible for all of the qualitative analysis and the reports of these findings. This expanded upon previous experience in undertaking surveys, research interviews and focus groups and concomitant analysis of research findings for several community based research projects. These have included: an evaluation of the ‘Helping Hand Framework’ commissioned by Leeds City Council, based on the successful HENRY programme, to support families with more complex and enduring needs; a systematic review for NHS Diabetes on the transition from paediatric to adult health care for children/young people with long term conditions; two evaluations of programmes involving lay health educators, Health Champions: An Evaluation of the Health Champions Programme in Sunderland and Altogether Better’s NHS LifeCheck Demonstrator Project; a thematic analysis of local people’s views in relation to service provision within Sunderland TPCT and an evaluation of stakeholder perspectives and engagement within the Leeds Local Involvement Network. Recently Rhiannon has also undertaken patient and public involvement work to inform NIHR research bids, involving interviews with service users to contribute to study design and proposed methodologies. Rhiannon has also recently supported a qualitative analysis of the applications from Local Authorities to be involved in the Whole Systems Approach to Obesity work with the university.
Rhiannon’s main research interests centre around childhood obesity prevention, with a focus on evaluating the effectiveness of primary school based healthy lifestyle interventions. Rhiannon is also interested in the association between maternal obesity and childhood obesity and early intervention in the perinatal period: exploring the suitability and effectiveness of the information provided to women during pregnancy and beyond, to support healthy lifestyle management and prevent excessive weight gain. Rhiannon has gained substantial experience in research participant recruitment; organisation of data collection; design of data collection tools (questionnaires, interview and focus group topic schedules); mixed methods data collection; qualitative data analysis and report writing.
Rhiannon is currently working as part of a research team undertaking an evaluation of a school-based nutritional intervention (commissioned by Leeds City Council) within primary schools in Leeds. The school based primary school intervention is underpinned by the whole-school approach, designed to impact on dietary intake (notably fruit and vegetables, food and drinks high in sugar and fat) of pupils and is designed to impact on families, the school environment, caterers and local retailers. Rhiannon is also due to commence work on an evaluation of knowledge and perceptions of vitamin D (Vitamin D Nutricia Early Life Nutrition Research Grant). The aim of this study is to improve vitamin D status in children in the pivotal period from pregnancy to a child’s 2nd birthday, the first 1000 days. This will involve exploring healthcare professionals (e.g. midwives/health visitors) and Early Years Practitioners (EYP) knowledge and awareness of the role and recommendations of vitamin D; parents’ perceptions, awareness and behaviours around vitamin D intake; as well as exploring the potential role of fortification of vitamin D in food and drinks, exploring types of foods/drinks parents would be willing to consume to increase vitamin D intake in their children and during pregnancy.