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As a psychologist, my research focuses on theory-based behavior change interventions to improve diet and nutrition status and to prevent and treat obesity in a variety of population groups.

I have a particular interest in the role of novel behavior-change methods such as habit formation and peer support, and I am keen to explore dietary behaviour change across the life-course, including in preconception, pregnancy and aging populations.

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Dr McGowan is open to PhD supervision opportunities

  • Behaviour change interventions focusing on diet and/or obesity across a range of population groups
  • Obesity management
  • Preconception health for men and women - improving health status before pregnancy

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  • Regional Lead for the Association for the Study of Obesity Northern Ireland Network

  • Part of the Obesity Prevention Steering Group at the Dept of Health NI.

  • I’m an invited member of the All-Island Obesity Coalition – Safefood

  • Committee member for the Division of Health Psychology in NI (British Psychological Society).

  • Regularly contributes to the popular press via articles and interviews (TV and radio).


Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biological Sciences

Centre for Public Health

Institute for Global Food Security

Nutrition Group


Research students

PhD Title: The Impact of a Tailored Dietary Intervention Coupled with Oral Rehabilitation on the Nutritional Status of Older Adults

Name: Leigh-Ann McCrum
Years of Study: 2
Country: Northern Ireland


Alumni: where are they now?

Fiona Lavelle

PhD Title: Learning cooking skills to increase cooking from basic ingredients: Barriers and Facilitators

Years of Study: 2014-2017
Country: Republic of Ireland
Current position: Research Fellow, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast


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