Dr Bernadette Egan

Research Interests

Bernadette’s research interests are primarily public health-related (food safety, food choice, behavioural nutrition). She works with consumers, professionals (e.g. teachers) and other stakeholders to investigate food-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviour using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Bernadette also has extensive experience in developing study protocols and in the collection, analysis and reporting of data.

Research Collaborations

  • Plant Food Supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment - PlantLIBRA (European Union; June 2010 to May 2014)
  • The Effect of Diet on the Mental performance of Children - NutriMENTHE (European Union; March 2008 to February 2013)
  • Early Nutrition programming - long term follow up of efficacy and safety trials and integrated epidemiological, genetic, animal, consumer and economic research - EARNEST (European Union; April 2005 to March 2010)
  • European Food Information Resource Network - EuroFIR (European Union; 5 years from January 2005)
  • Getting food safety and food hygiene messages into schools (Food Standards Agency; March 2004 to November 2005)
  • Evaluation of UK food hygiene and safety training (Food Standards Agency; August 2002 to March 2004)

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 2888

Find me on campus
Room: 13 AC 04

Publications

Journal articles

  • Egan B, Gage H, Williams P, Brands B, Györei E, López-Robles JC, Campoy C, Decsi T, Koletzko B, Raats M. (2016) 'The effect of diet on the physical and mental development of children: views of parents and teachers in four European countries.'. The British journal of nutrition, , pp. 1-9.
  • Restani P, Di Lorenzo C, Garcia-Alvarez A, Badea M, Ceschi A, Egan B, Dima L, Luede S, Maggi FM, Marculescu A, Mila-Villarroel R, Raats MM, Ribas-Barba L, Uusitalo L, Serra-Majem L. (2016) 'Adverse Effects of Plant Food Supplements Self-Reported by Consumers in the PlantLIBRA Survey Involving Six European Countries'. PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE PLOS ONE, 11 (2) Article number ARTN e0150089
  • Gage H, Egan B, Williams P, Györei E, Brands B, López-Robles JC, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Decsi T, Raats M. (2014) 'Views of parents in four European countries about the effect of food on the mental performance of primary school children'. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68 (1), pp. 32-37.
  • Garcia-Alvarez A, Egan B, de Klein S, Dima L, Maggi FM, Isoniemi M, Ribas-Barba L, Raats MM, Meissner EM, Badea M, Bruno F, Salmenhaara M, Milà-Villarroel R, Knaze V, Hodgkins C, Marculescu A, Uusitalo L, Restani P, Serra-Majem L. (2014) 'Usage of plant food supplements across six European countries: findings from the PlantLIBRA consumer survey.'. PLoS One, United States: 9 (3)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: The popularity of botanical products is on the rise in Europe, with consumers using them to complement their diets or to maintain health, and products are taken in many different forms (e.g. teas, juices, herbal medicinal products, plant food supplements (PFS)). However there is a scarcity of data on the usage of such products at European level. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of the characteristics and usage patterns of PFS consumers in six European countries. DESIGN: Data on PFS usage were collected in a cross-sectional, retrospective survey of PFS consumers using a bespoke frequency of PFS usage questionnaire. SUBJECTS/SETTING: A total sample of 2359 adult PFS consumers from Finland, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. DATA ANALYSES: Descriptive analyses were conducted, with all data stratified by gender, age, and country. Absolute frequencies, percentages and 95% confidence intervals are reported. RESULTS: Overall, an estimated 18.8% of screened survey respondents used at least one PFS. Characteristics of PFS consumers included being older, well-educated, never having smoked and self-reporting health status as "good or very good". Across countries, 491 different botanicals were identified in the PFS products used, with Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo), Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) and Cynara scolymus (Artichoke) being most frequently reported; the most popular dose forms were capsules and pills/tablets. Most consumers used one product and half of all users took single-botanical products. Some results varied across countries. CONCLUSIONS: The PlantLIBRA consumer survey is unique in reporting on usage patterns of PFS consumers in six European countries. The survey highlights the complexity of measuring the intake of such products, particularly at pan-European level. Incorporating measures of the intake of botanicals in national dietary surveys would provide much-needed data for comprehensive risk and benefit assessments at the European level.

  • Anjos T, Altmäe S, Emmett P, Tiemeier H, Closa-Monasterolo R, Luque V, Wiseman S, Pérez-García M, Lattka E, Demmelmair H, Egan B, Straub N, Szajewska H, Evans J, Horton C, Paus T, Isaacs E, Van Klinken JW, Koletzko B, Campoy C. (2013) 'Nutrition and neurodevelopment in children: Focus on NUTRIMENTHE project'. European Journal of Nutrition, 52 (8), pp. 1825-1842.
  • Gage H, Von Rosen-Von Hoewel J, Laitinen K, Jakobik V, Martin-Bautista E, Schmid M, Egan B, Morgan J, Williams P, Decsi T, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Raats MM. (2013) 'Health effects of infant feeding: Information for parents in leaflets and magazines in five European countries'. Sage Public Understanding of Science, 22 (3), pp. 365-379.
  • Gage H, Von Rosen-Von Hoewel J, Laitinen K, Jakobik V, Martin-Bautista E, Schmid M, Egan B, Morgan J, Williams P, Decsi T, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Raats M. (2013) 'Health effects of infant feeding: Information for parents in leaflets and magazines in five European countries'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE, 22 (3), pp. 365-379.
  • Anjos T, Altmäe S, Campoy C, Emmett P, Tiemeier H, Closa-Monasterolo R, Luque V, Wiseman S, van Klinken JW, Pérez-García M, Lattka E, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, Egan B, Straub N, Szajewska H, Evans J, Horton C, Paus T, Isaacs E. (2013) 'Nutrition and neurodevelopment in children: focus on NUTRIMENTHE project'. European Journal of Nutrition, , pp. 1-18.
  • Gage H, Williams P, Von Rosen-Von Hoewel J, Laitinen K, Jakobik V, Martin-Bautista E, Schmid M, Egan B, Morgan J, Decsi T, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Raats MM. (2012) 'Influences on infant feeding decisions of first-time mothers in five European countries'. Nature Publishing Group European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66 (8), pp. 914-919.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Infant feeding decisions made by new parents have significant health implications. The study aimed to investigate: influences on infant feeding decisions; characteristics of mothers reporting reliance on alternative information sources; associations between reliance on different sources and intentions to exclusively breastfeed and introduce complementary foods later; and subsequent breastfeeding and weaning behaviours. SUBJECTS/METHODS: First-time mothers in five European countries (England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Spain) completed questionnaires about the importance of 17 influences on infant feeding choices at birth and 8 months later, during 2007–2008. Use of individual sources and reliance on four categories (family and friends, health professionals, written materials, audio-visual media) were compared between countries. Associations between information sources used and mother characteristics, feeding intentions and behaviours were investigated using appropriate statistical tests. RESULTS: In all, 2071 first-time mothers provided baseline data; 78% at 8 months. Variation exists between countries in the influence of different sources on feeding decisions of first-time mothers. Across all countries, the most important influences at both time points were books, partner and antenatal midwife. Mothers in higher income quintiles and remaining at school beyond age 16 years reported greater reliance on written sources (P<0.0005). Mothers relying most on written sources reported longer exclusive breastfeeding (P=0.002), and a tendency to introduce foods other than milk later (P=0.079) than mothers relying most on personal or professional contacts. CONCLUSION: Further research is required about which dissemination strategies are most effective at improving infant feeding behaviours in varied cultural settings, and for different socio-economic groups.

  • Brands B, Egan B, Györei E, López-Robles JC, Gage H, Campoy C, Decsi T, Koletzko B, Raats MM. (2012) 'A qualitative interview study on effects of diet on children's mental state and performance. Evaluation of perceptions, attitudes and beliefs of parents in four European countries'. Appetite, 58 (2), pp. 739-746.
  • Egan B, Gage H, Hood J, Poole K, McDowell C, Maguire G, Storey L. (2012) 'Availability of complementary and alternative medicine for people with cancer in the British National Health Service: Results of a national survey'. Elsevier Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 18 (2), pp. 75-80.
  • Egan B, Hodgkins C, Shepherd R, Timotijevic L, Raats MM. (2011) 'An overview of consumer attitudes and beliefs about plant food supplements.'. Royal Society of Chemistry Food and Function, 2 (12), pp. 747-752.

    Abstract

    The use of dietary supplements is increasing globally and this includes the use of plant food supplements (PFS). A variety of factors may be influencing this increased consumption including the increasing number of older people in society, mistrust in conventional medicine and the perception that natural is healthy. Consumer studies in this area are limited, with a focus on dietary supplements in general, and complicated by the use of certain plant food supplements as herbal medicines. Research indicates that higher use of dietary supplements has been associated with being female, being more educated, having a higher income, being white and being older, however the drivers for consumption of supplements are complex, being influenced by both demographic and health-related factors. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of current knowledge about the users and the determinants of usage of plant food supplements. With growing consumption of these products, the need for effective risk-benefit assessment becomes ever more important and an insight into who uses these types of products and why is an important starting point for any future science-based decisions made by policy makers, PFS manufacturers and ultimately by consumers themselves.

  • Gage H, Raats M, Williams P, Egan B, Jakobik V, Laitinen K, Martin-Bautista E, Schmid M, von Rosen-von Hoewel J, Campoy C, Decsi T, Morgan J, Koletzko B. (2011) 'Developmental origins of health and disease: the views of first-time mothers in 5 European countries on the importance of nutritional influences in the first year of life'. AMER SOC NUTRITION-ASN AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, Univ Munich Med Ctr, Munich, GERMANY: 94 (6), pp. 2018S-2024S.
  • Egan B, Hodgkins C, Fragodt A, Raats MM. (2011) 'Compilation of food composition data sets: an analysis of user needs through the Use Case approach.'. Nature Publishing Group European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, England: 65 (6), pp. 757-760.

    Abstract

    Background/Objectives:The objective of this study was to identify the common requirements of users involved in the compilation of food composition data sets with a view to informing the development of a common access system to food composition data, within the European Food Information Resource (EuroFIR) project.Subjects/Methods:A number of examples of food composition data set compilation have been examined using the Use Case approach, namely the compilation of a data set for a national nutrition survey, for a cross-national nutrition study and for a nutritional software programme.Results:The key user requirement identified from the compilation step analysed by the Use Case approach is the increased availability of and access to more detailed food composition data on a wider range of foods and nutrients.Conclusions:Food composition data serve a variety of purposes, and different user groups will often have both common needs and more individual or specific needs of their data sets. The development of Use Cases for specific processes effectively identifies the needs of users, highlighting any similarities and/or differences in those needs. The application of the Use Case approach to support the software development activities within EuroFIR will ensure that user needs are effectively identified and captured in a systematic and documented way.

  • Gage H, Kaye J, Kimber A, Storey L, Egan M, Qiao Y, Trend P. (2011) 'Correlates of constipation in people with Parkinson's'. Elsevier Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 17 (2), pp. 106-111.

    Abstract

    Purpose To investigate clinical, demographic and dietary factors associated with constipation in a sample of community dwelling people with Parkinson’s disease, recruited through a specialist outpatient clinic. Partners/carers provided a convenience control group. Scope Participants completed a baseline questionnaire (background information, diet and exercise, activities of daily living: mobility and manual dexterity, health-related quality of life (SF-12), stool frequency and characteristics, extent of concern due to constipation, laxative taking), and a four-week stool diary. The Rome criterion was used to determine constipation status. Multiple regression methods were used to explore the correlates of constipation. Baseline data were provided by 121 people with Parkinson’s, (54 controls), of whom 73% (25%) met the Rome criterion. Prospective diary data from 106 people with Parkinson’s (43 controls) showed lower proportions: 35% (7%) meeting the Rome criterion. Among all study subjects, i.e. Parkinson’s patients and controls taken together, the presence of constipation is predicted by having Parkinson’s disease (p = .003; odds ratio 4.80, 95% CI 1.64–14.04) and mobility score (p = .04; odds ratio 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.31), but not by dietary factors. Amongst people with Parkinson’s constipation is predicted by number of medications (p = .027). Laxative taking masks constipation, and is significantly associated with wearing protection against bowel incontinence (p = .009; odds ratio 4.80, 95% CI: 1.48–15.52). Conclusions Constipation is disease-related, not a lifestyle factor. More research is needed on optimal management and laxative use.

  • Eves A, Bielby G, Egan B, Lumbers M, Raats M, Adams M. (2010) 'Food safety knowledge and behaviours of children (5-7 years)'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD HEALTH EDUCATION JOURNAL, 69 (1), pp. 21-30.
  • Hodgkins C, Raats MM, Egan MB, Fragodt A, Buttriss J, McKevith B. (2010) 'Optimising food composition data flow within the UK food supply chain and to external stakeholders'. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE JOURNAL OF FOOD COMPOSITION AND ANALYSIS, 23 (7), pp. 749-752.
  • Egan MB, Hodgkins C, Fragodt A, Krines C, Raats MM. (2009) 'User-centred food composition data-analysis of user needs through the Use Case approach'. ELSEVIER SCI LTD FOOD CHEMISTRY, 113 (3), pp. 804-807.
  • Egan MB, Bielby G, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Raats MM, Adams MR. (2008) 'Food hygiene education in UK secondary schools: A nationwide survey of teachers' views'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD HEALTH EDUCATION JOURNAL, 67 (2), pp. 110-120.
  • Egan MB, Fragodt A, Raats M, Hodgkins C, Lumbers M. (2007) 'The importance of harmonizing food composition data across Europe'. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61 (7), pp. 813-821.
  • Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, Adams MR. (2007) 'A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector'. ELSEVIER SCI LTD FOOD CONTROL, 18 (10), pp. 1180-1190.
  • Poole K, Gage H, Storey L, Egan B, Thomas H. (2007) 'Home Chemotherapy: should patients have a choice?'. British Journal of Home Healthcare, 2 (2), pp. 12-14.
  • Eves A, Bielby G, Egan B, Lumbers M, Raats M, Adams M. (2006) 'Food hygiene knowledge and self-reported behaviours of UK school children (4-14 years)'. British Food Journal, 108 (9), pp. 706-720.
  • Bielby G, Egan B, Eves A, Lumbers M, Raats M, Adams M. (2006) 'Food hygiene education in UK primary schools: a nation-wide survey of teachers' views'. British Food Journal, 108 (9), pp. 721-731.
  • Egan MB, Fragodt A, Raats MM. (2006) 'The importance of harmonising and sustaining food composition data across Europe'. Nutrition Bulletin, 31 (4), pp. 349-353.

Conference papers

  • Gage H, Egan B, Williams P, Gyoerei E, Brands B, Lopez-Robles J-C, Brown KA, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Decsi T, Raats MM. (2013) 'VIEWS OF PARENTS IN FOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ABOUT THE EFFECT OF FOOD ON THE MENTAL PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN'. KARGER ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 63, pp. 1132-1132.
  • Egan B, Gage H, Williams P, Brands B, Gyoerei E, Lopez-Robles JC, Koletzko B, Campoy C, Desci T, Raats M. (2013) 'FACTORS AFFECTING FOOD CHOICES OF PARENTS OF CHILDREN AGED 4-10 YEARS IN FOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES'. KARGER ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 63, pp. 1862-1862.
  • Gage H, Egan B, Williams P, Lopez-Robles JC, Brands B, Gyoerei E, Campoy C, Desci T, Koletzko B, Raats M. (2013) 'ASSOCIATION BETWEEN DIET AND PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN: VIEWS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS IN FOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES'. KARGER ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 63, pp. 1863-1863.
  • Egan B, Gage H, Williams P, Gyoerei E, Brands B, Lopez-Robles JC, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Desci T, Raats M. (2013) 'ASSOCIATION BETWEEN DIET AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN: VIEWS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS IN FOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES'. KARGER ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 63, pp. 1862-1862.
  • Gyoerei E, Egan B, Gage H, Williams P, Raats M, Brands B, Lopez-Robles J, Campoy C, Koletzko B, Decsi T. (2011) 'Effect of food on learning: views of parents in four European countries'. ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 58, pp. 137-138.
  • Lopez Robles J, Egan B, Brands B, Gyoerei E, Gage H, Raats M, Koletzko B, Decsi T, Campoy C. (2011) 'Teachers knowledge of the influence of nutrition on childrens mental performance in four European countries'. ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, 58, pp. 409-409.
  • Lopez-Robles JC, Egan B, Gage H, Gyorei E, Brands B, Raats M, Martin-Bautista E, Tamas D, Koletzko B, Campoy C. (2010) 'QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF SPANISH PARENTS BELIEFS OF WHAT EFFECTS CHILDREN'S MENTAL PERFORMANCE'. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY AND NUTRITION, 50, pp. E191-E191.
  • Brands B, Egan B, Gage H, Lopez-Robles JC, Gyoerei E, Raats M, Martin-Bautista E, Decsi T, Campoy C, Koletzko B. (2010) 'THE EFFECT OF DIET ON CHILDREN'S MENTAL PERFORMANCE - A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS OF PARENTS IN FOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES'. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY AND NUTRITION, 50, pp. E189-E189.

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