Diet, Obesity and Lifestyle

The Diet and Obesity portfolio conducts and supports research of trials and associated methodological research. The Portfolio is led by Dr Maria Bryant, Senior Research Fellow, University of Leeds Academic Research Fellow and NIHR Career Development Fellow.

Complex Intervention Trials

Acronym  Title  Status
HAPPY HAPPY is a phase II randomised, targeted, theory based, culturally appropriate intervention aimed at reducing the risk of obesity in children of overweight and obese mothers. This intervention was developed from a NIHR Programme Grant led by Professor John Wright within the Born in Bradford cohort Dissemination
PEARS PEARS is the phase III trials that has been designed to evaluate HAPPY. This is a multi-site trial, recruiting overweight and obese pregnant women from maternity services. Primary outcome is infant growth at age 24 months (CI: Bryant) Funding application
WATCH IT Feasibility trial Early evaluation of an NHS community based intervention for overweight children and adolescents. Funded by the Wellcome Trust (CI: Rudolf) Closed
HENRY NIHR CDF funding entitled “Implementation optimisation and pilot cluster randomised controlled trial of HENRY, a community based programme aimed at preventing obesity in preschool children”. This research involves mixed methods, including ethnography, intervention development and two randomised controlled trials (CI: Bryant) Data collection

Applied Health Research

Acronym  Title  Status
Better Start Bradford A community partnership led by Bradford Trident (funded through the National Lottery), aiming to help parents give their children the best start in life with clear objectives to improve the life chances of babies and children; to improve social and emotional development, nutrition, language and communication development; and to enact a system change Set-up
Born In Bradford 1000 Development and evaluation of interventions for the prevention of childhood obesity in a multi-ethnic population: the Born in Bradford NHS Research Programme. Funded by a NIHR PGfAR (CI: Wright) Closed
Childhood obesity Outcomes Review (CoOR) Research funded through the NIHR HTA as part of a previous Obesity Themed call (CI: Bryant). Work included a systematic review to identify and appraise outcome measures used to evaluate childhood obesity treatment interventions: evidence of purpose, application, validity, reliability and sensitivity. This framework has now been developed and has informed NICE guidance (PH47) Closed
HomeSTEAD A collaboration between researchers in the US (CI: Ward D) and the CTRU (funded by the NIH in the US) to develop and evaluate a survey (HomeSTEAD) which assesses domains within family homes which are hypothesised to relate to childhood obesity Closed
WATCH IT Qualitative Study Research funded through DH Leeds (CIs: Rudolf and Bryant) involving the qualitative evaluation of the views of parents, children and health trainers involved in WATCH IT to identify issues in order to inform the development or refinement of programmes targeting obesity in children. Closed
Public engagement: The Child Cosmos Sculpture Project Funds aimed to raise community awareness of a complex programme of work through artistic interpretation (CI: Bryant) funded via a Wellcome Trust Small grant scheme.  This project is commissioning the production of a permanent sculpture, which will reside in the community in Bradford. Joint funds (from Bradford Trident) will then be used to unveil the sculpture at a public engagement event. The sculpture itself will attempt to provide a 3-D representation of the design and intended outcomes of a new exciting project 'Better Start Bradford' Set-up
Pantry methodology study Development of a tool to measure food availability in the home. The grant was written to move forward the methodology needed to conduct observational studies of the home food environment (CI: Stevens). Closed

Relevant publications


M√Ęsse, Louise C; O’Connor, Teresia M; Tu, Andrew W; Hughes, Sheryl O; Beauchamp, Mark R; Baranowski, Tom (2017). Conceptualizing physical activity parenting practices using expert informed concept mapping analysis. BMC Public Health.

Farrar, Diane; Simmonds, Mark; Bryant, Maria; Lawlor, Debbie A; Dunne, Fidelma; Tuffnell, Derek; Sheldon, Trevor A (2017). Risk factor screening to identify women requiring oral glucose tolerance testing to diagnose gestational diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis and analysis of two pregnancy cohorts. PlosOne.

Farrar, Diane; Simmonds, Mark; Bryant, Maria; Sheldon, Trevor A; Golder, Su; Tuffnell , D; Lawlor, Debbie A (2017). Treatments for gestational diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. In press.

Daley, A, Pallan, M, Clifford, S, Jolly, K, Bryant, M, Adab, P, Cheng, KK, Roalf, A (2017) Are babies conceived during Ramadan born smaller and sooner than babies conceived at other times of the year? A Born in Bradford Cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. ISSN 0143-005X (In Press)


Bryant, M.; Burton, W.; Cundill, B.;  Farrin, A.; Nixon, J.; Stevens, J.; Roberts, K.; Foy, R.; Rutter, H.; Hartley, S.; Tubeuf, S.; Collinson, M.;  Brown, J (2016)  Effectiveness of an implementation optimisation intervention aimed at increasing parent engagement in HENRY, a childhood obesity prevention programme (The 'Optimising Family engagemenT in HENRY' (OFTEN) trial): Study Protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. In press.

Farrar D, Simmons M, Bryant M, Sheldon T, Tuffnell D, Golding S, Lawlor D (2016). Hyperglycaemia and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. In press.

Dickerson J, Bird PK, McEachan RR, Pickett KE, Wailblinger DM, Uphoff E, Mason D, Bryant M, Bywater T, Bowyer-Crane C, Sahota P, Small N, Howell M, Thornton G, Astin M, Lawlor DA and Wright J (2016). Born in Bradford's Better Start: an experimental birth cohort study to evaluate the impact of early life interventions. BMC Public Health. 2016 Aug 4;15:711. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3318-0.

Willis T, Roberts K, Berry T, Bryant M and Rudolf M (2016). The impact of HENRY on parenting and family lifestyle: a national service evaluation of a preschool obesity prevention programme Public Health. Public Health.

Vaughan A, Tabak, R, Ward DA (2016) Comprehensive assessment of food parenting practices: development and psychometric testing of HomeSTEAD's family food practices survey. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

McEachan RC, Santorelli G, Bryant M, Sahota P, Farrar D, Small NA, Akhtar S, Sargent J,  Barber SE, Taylor NJ, Richardson G, Farrin AJ, Bhopal R, Bingham D, Ahern SE and Wright J (2016) The HAPPY (Healthy and Active Parenting Programmme for early Years) feasibility randomised control trial: Acceptability and feasibility of an intervention to reduce infant obesity.  BMC Public Health MS: 1029803493178153

Wright, J., Fairley, L., McEachan, R.R.C., Bryant, M., Petherick, E., Sahota, P., Santorelli, G., Barber, S., Lawlor, D.A., Taylor, N., Bhopal, R., Cameron, N., West, J., Hill, A., Summerbell, C., Farrin, A., Ball, H., Brown, T., Small, N., Farrar, D. (2016). Development and evaluation of an intervention for the prevention of childhood obesity in a multi-ethnic population: the Born in Bradford applied research programme. NIHR Journals Library. 4:2. doi:


Sahota P, Gatenby L, Greenwood D, Bryant M, Robinson S, Wright J Ethnic Differences in dietary intake at age 12 and 18 months: The Born in Bradford 1000 Study. Public Health Nutrition doi:10.1017/S1368980015000932.

Fairley L, Santorelli G, Lawlor DA, Bryant M, Bhopal R, Petherick E, Sahota P, Greenwood D, Hill A, Cameron N, Ball H, Barber S and Wright J. The relationship between early life modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity, ethnicity and body mass index at age 3 years: findings from the Born in Bradford birth cohort study. BMC Obesity 2:9 doi:10.1186/s40608-015-0037-5


Visscher T, Bell C, Gubbles J, Huang T, Bryant M, Peeters A and Genevieve H (2014). Challenges in lifestyle and community interventions research. BMC Obesity. 1:29. DOI 10.1186/s40608-014-0029-x

Bryant M, Ashton L, Nixon J, Jebb S, Wright J, Roberts K and Brown J. (2014) The use and reporting of primary and secondary outcome measures in trials evaluating childhood obesity treatment interventions. BMC Obesity. 1:25. DOI: 10.1186/s40608-014-0025-1.,

Bryant M, Ashton L, Nixon J, Jebb S, Wright J, Roberts K and Brown J. (2014) Framework of outcome measures recommended for use in the evaluation of childhood obesity treatment interventions: The CoOR framework. Pediatric Obesity DOI10111/j.2047-6310.2014.220.x

Bryant M, Ashton L, Nixon J, Jebb S, Wright J, Roberts K, Brown J. (2014) Systematic review to identify and appraise outcome measures used to evaluate childhood obesity treatment interventions: evidence of purpose, application, validity, reliability and sensitivity. Health Technology Assessment Monograph Series. 18;51. DOI: 10.3310/hta18510.

Bryant M; Sahota P; Santorelli G; Hill A. (2014) An exploration and comparison of food and drink availability in homes in a sample of families of White and Pakistani origin within the UK. Public Health Nutr, pp. 1-9. DOI:10.1017/S1368980014000147

Bryant M, Santorelli G, Petherick E, Wright J, Bhopal R, Lawlor D, Tilling K, Howe L, Cameron N, Farrar N, Fairley L.(2014) Agreement between routine and research measurement of infant height and weight. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 0:1–6 DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-305970.


Hales D, Vaughn AE, Mazzucca S, Bryant M, Tabak RG, McWilliams C, Stevens J, Ward DS. Development of HomeSTEAD's physical activity and screen time physical environment inventory. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity; 10; 132, DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-132.

Bryant M, Santorelli G, Lawlor DA, Farrar D, Tuffnell D, Bhopal R, Wright J (2013). A comparison of South Asian specific and established BMI thresholds for determining obesity prevalence in pregnancy and predicting pregnancy complications: Findings from the Born in Bradford cohort. Int J Obes. 10.1038/ijo.2013.117

Vaughn A, Bryant M, Tabak R, Ward D. (2013) Systematic review of diet and eating behavior home environment measures related to childhood obesity. IJBNPA;10: 61 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-61

Bryant M. Santorelli G, Fairley L, West J, Lawlor DA, Bhopal R, Petherick E, Sahota P, Hill A, Cameron N, Small N, Wright J and the Born in Bradford Childhood Obesity Scientific Group. (2013) Design and characteristics of a new birth cohort to study the early origins of childhood obesity: the BiB1000 study. LLCS. Volume 4 (2); 119-135.


Stevens J, Wang L, Bryant M, Cai J, Borja J, Bentley M (2012). Within and between variation in the availability of foods in the home: implications for sample size and repeated measures. Journal of Nutrition 142(6); 1123-1127. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.150060


Twiddy M, Wilson I, Bryant M, and Rudolf M. (2011) Lessons learned from a family focused weight management intervention for obese and overweight children. Public Health Nutrition. 5:1-8

Bryant M, Farrin A, Christie D, Jebb SA, Cooper AR and Rudolf M. (2011) Results of a randomised controlled feasibility trial for WATCH IT: A community based programme for obese children and adolescents. Clinical Trials, Volume 8 Issue 6 December 2011 pp. 761 - 770. DOI: 10.1177/1740774511424766

Bryant M, Stevens J, Tabak R, Wang L, Borja L and Bentley M. (2011) Relationship between home fruit availability and infant and maternal dietary intake in African American families: Evidence from the Exhaustive Home Food Inventory (JADA, 111:1491-1497)


Twiddy, M, Wilson I, and Bryant M. A qualitative evaluation of WATCH-IT a community based treatment for childhood obesity. Commissioned REPORT for NHS Leeds. December 2010.

Stevens J, Bryant M, Wang L, Borja J, Bentley M. Exhaustive measurement of food items in the home using a universal product code scanner (2010) Public Health Nutrition; 14(2):314-318. doi:10.1017/S1368980010001837


Byrd-Bredbenner C, Bryant M and Stevens J. (2009) Household food and beverage purchasing. Letter to the Editor. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 109(6) 983-984. June doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.04.030


Bryant M, Ward D Stevens J, Hayes D, Vaughn A, and Tabak R. (2008) Reliability and Validity of the Healthy Home Survey (HHS): A tool to measure factors within homes hypothesized to relate to overweight in children. International Journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity. 5 (23); 5868-23.

Bryant M, Stevens J, Truesdale K, Mosley T and Chambless L (2008). Relationship between obesity and vital exhaustion: cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of the Atherosclerosis Risk in the Communities study Obesity. Obesity Research. 16 (7); 1545-1551.


Sardi M, Wegener R, Kobelt E, Bryant M and Samuels F (2007) Contextual and individual factors influencing childhood obesity in the EU. Report commission by the International Life Science Institute.

Fayter D, Nixon J, Hartley S, Rithalia A, Butler G, Rudolf M, Gasziou P, Bland M, Stirk L, Westwood M: A systematic review of the routine monitoring of growth in children in primary school age to identify growth-related conditions. Health Technology Assessment 2007, 11 1-182.