Nutrition, diet and lifestyle


Unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity account for a major proportion of preventable death and disability.

How do dietary, nutritional and lifestyle behaviours lead to chronic (long-lasting) diseases?

And how can we develop treatments or cures to help prevent or reduce their occurrence, and improve patients’ health and quality of life?

These questions are being addressed through the Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle research theme which is hosted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit and led by Professor Nick Wareham.

This research will help us to understand if individual risk factors (such as physical inactivity or poor diet) cause disease or if disease is caused by other factors, such as a person’s genetic make-up or their growth as a baby or infant.


Understanding this will help us to develop effective activities (interventions) and programmes to improve or maintain patients’ health and change lifestyle behaviours. This will contribute to translational research – in other words, research that moves (or ‘translates’) from the laboratory to the clinic where it directly benefits patients.

As well as the research described above, this theme provides a Measurement Platform that supports local, UK international research groups and studies through collaborations and service-based delivery of measurements.