Lada Timotijevic

Dr Lada Timotijevic

Senior Research Fellow



Having completed my PhD in 2000 (University of Surrey) in the area of identity processes in the context of social and cross-cultural mobility, I have subsequently worked within advertising industry (J. Walter Thompson). I joined the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH) at the University of Surrey (Department of Psychology) in 2002, a multidisciplinary research centre which brings together skills and expertise from across the University in order to address research questions on food related policy, consumer behaviour and public health. Since my arrival, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the Research Centre, working on research projects of substantive theoretical and applied relevance. I work within the critical public health framework and my empirically-oriented work has focused on understanding the role and nature of public and stakeholder engagement and dialogue in policy and science, risk perception and governance, and science-policy interaction. Policy relevance is a key theme across my research projects, and my work is aimed at both understanding the processes of policy making, and contributing evidence on which to base policies. I am particularly interested in public health nutrition, sustainable diets and illness prevention.

Research interests

Risk perception and governance

I have investigated:

  • perceptions of risks and benefits of technologies and products (e.g. mobile technologies; healthcare sensors and apps; plant food supplements);
  • perceptions of risks and benefits linked to behavioural interventions such as screening, or precautionary risk communication strategies;
  • perceptions of risks and benefits associated with the management of research data and data governance;

Projects include:

mHealth platform for Parkinson's Disease Management (PD Manager). Funded by H2020 European Commission in 2015 (3 years) (Principal Investigator)

Non-participation in screening for the inherited conditions in the young: A systematic investigation of decision-making processes. Funded as an ESRC CASE studentship in collaboration with Cardiac Risk in the Young, in 2011 (3 years) (Principal Investigator)

PLANT food supplements: Levels of intake, benefit and risk assessment (PlantLIBRA). Funded by FP7, European Commission in 2010 (3 years) (Co-investigator)

Communicating uncertainty: mobile telecommunications health risk (MTHR). Funded by the Department of Health in 2004 (2.5 years) (Co-investigator)

Public engagement and Responsible Research and Innovation

It has been long argued that decision making about science and technology ought to include wider societal actors in order to enable responsible and responsive innovation and research. I am interested to explore the possibilities for open innovation and to critically examine the processes of public and stakeholder engagement in science, innovation and policy processes.

Projects include:

Investigating deliberative methods for setting a monetary capability threshold in the context of social care and public health (DEMAND) funded by MRC, in 2016 (3 years) (member of the Project Advisory Board)

Fostering RRI uptake in current research and innovations system (PROSO) - funded by the European Commission, H2020 in 2016 (2 years) (Principal Investigator)

Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations (INPROFOOD). Funded by the FP7 European Commission in 2011 (3 years) (Principal Investigator)

Enhancing connectivity between research and policymaking in sustainable development (PACHELBEL). Funded by the FP7 European Commission in 2011 (3 years)

Harmonising nutrient recommendations across Europe with special focus on vulnerable groups and consumer understanding (EURRECA) Funded by the FP7 European Commission in 2008 (5 years) (Co-investigator)

Web-based engagement - feasibility study. Funded by the Welcome Trust in 2007 (9 months)

Evaluating direct and indirect involvement of low income consumers in food policy development. Funded by the Food Standards Agency in 2002. (18 months)

Open science

I have worked on projects to develop research infrastructures to connect data and researchers across disciplines and cultures, in the context of food and health science. I am interested in addressing the ethics of data sharing and the processes of governance of such infrastructures. I have also studied the workings of the scientific advisory bodies taking into account the requirements for “good science governance”, including transparency, openness and public engagement.

Projects include:

Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing (RICHFIELDS). Funded by the H2020 European Commission in 2015 (3 years) (Principal Investigator).

Study on the need for food and health research infrastructures in Europe (EuroDISH). Funded by the FP& European Commission in 2012 (3 years) (Principal Investigator)

Policy interventions - behaviour change

I have evaluated a number of policy interventions to change behaviour, inform about risks or alleviate psychological distress. I continue to seek projects that will be provide critical evaluation of the theoretical and methodological approaches to behavioural and social change


Convened the final year module “Applied Psychology and Public Policy” - BSc Psychology

MSc module on Social Influence and Change - MSc Social Psychology/Environmental Psychology and Research Methods “Behaviour change” lecture

Contributed to the second year undergraduate module “Animals in Society” - BSc Veterinary Science - “Risk governance” lecture

Contributed to the final year undergraduate module on Public Health Nutrition - BSc Nutrition Science - “Development of Micronutrient Recommendations” & “Evidence based public health nutrition policy”.


Mark Wherry (2016 onwards): A discursive analysis of the constructed realities surrounding preventative surgery for breast cancer - the partner's perspective. School of Psychology PhD bursary.

Sarah Whitson (2015 onwards): Investigation into body weight and psychological distress: the relationship between physical self-concept and social norms. Clinical Psychology Doctorate.

Dr Yas Hirst (2011-2014): Non participation in screening for cardiac conditions among adolescents: A systematic investigation of decision-making process. ESRC CASE PhD studentship.

Dr Reem Shafique (2014-2015): A qualitative exploration of how civilian survivors of armed conflict construct the meaning of 'justice' and its implications for subjectivity, agency and change: Palestine (Gaza), Syria and Iraq. Psych/D Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology

Departmental duties

2013-2015 Health and Wellbeing Research Group Lead, School of Psychology

2010-2014 ESRC South East Doctoral Training Centre Psychology Lead, University of Surrey

2008-2011 School of Psychology Research Committee Deputy, University of Surrey


British Psychological Society & Chartered Research Psychologist

Reviews & Markers of Excellence




Markers of Excellence

2015 Member of Editorial Board “BMC Public Health”

2014 Guest editor of the Special Issue on “Sustainable Diets” Public Health Nutrition journal

2009 Reviewer for ESRC/FSA joint call on Food Choice

2004 Expert evaluator: EU FP7: Social Science and Humanities Topic: “Democratic ownership and public participation”. Reviewed 11 proposals under the call

My publications


Brown KA, Hermoso M, Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Lillegaard ITL, Rehurková I, Larrañaga A, Loncarevic-Srmic A, Andersen LF, Ruprich J, Fernández-Celemín L, Raats MM (2012) Consumer involvement in dietary guideline development: opinions from European stakeholders, Public Health Nutrition Cambridge University Press
The involvement of consumers in the development of dietary guidelines has been promoted by national and international bodies. Yet, few best practice guidelines have been established to assist such involvement.

Qualitative semi-structured interviews explored stakeholders? beliefs about consumer involvement in dietary guideline development.

Interviews were conducted in six European countries: The Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Seventy-seven stakeholders were interviewed. Stakeholders were grouped as government, scientific advisory body, professional and academic, industry or non-government organisations. Response rate ranged from 45%-95%.

Thematic analysis was conducted with the assistance of NVivo qualitative software (QSR International Pyt Ltd.). Analysis identified two main themes: type of consumer involvement and pros and cons of consumer involvement. Direct consumer involvement (e.g. consumer organisations), in the decision-making process was discussed as a facilitator to guideline communication towards the end of the process. Indirect consumer involvement (e.g. consumer research data), was considered at both the beginning and the end of the process. Cons to consumer involvement included the effect of vested interests on objectivity; consumer disinterest;
complications in terms of time, finance and technical understanding. Pros related to increased credibility and trust in the process.

Stakeholders acknowledged benefits to consumer involvement during the development of dietary guidelines, but remained unclear on the advantage of direct contributions to the scientific content of guidelines. In the absence of established best practice, clarity on the type and reasons for consumer involvement would benefit all actors.

BMRB Social Research, Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre at the University of Surrey (2008) Comprehension and use of UK nutrition signpost labelling schemes: Scientific Rationale and Design, Food Standards Agency
Doets EL, de Wit LS, Dhonukshe-Rutten RAM, Cavelaars AEJM, Raats MM, Timotijevic L, Brzozowska A, Wijnhoven TMA, Pavlovic M, Totland TH, Andersen LF, Ruprich J, Pijls LTJ, Ashwell M, Lambert JP, van't Veer P, de Groot LCPGM (2008) Current micronutrient recommendations in Europe: towards understanding their differences and similarities, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUTRITION 47 pp. 17-40 DR DIETRICH STEINKOPFF VERLAG
Brown KA, de Wit L, Timotijevic L, Sonne A-M, Lahteenmaki L, Brito Garcia N, Jeruszka-Bielak M, Sicinska E, Moore AA, Lawrence M, Raats MM (2015) Communication of scientific uncertainty: international case studies on the development of folate and vitamin D recommendations, EFSA Journal (supp) pp. 67-67 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma
Timotijevic L, Raats M, Barnett J, Brown K, Fernandez L, Dömölki L, Ruprich J, Dhonukshe-Rutten R, Sonne A, Hermoso M, Koletzko B, Frost-Andersen L Institutional contexts in which micronutrient reference values are developed across Europe, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 69
Progress has been made towards a coherent public health nutrition policy across Europe; however this remains a challenge mainly due
to the variety of public health nutrition (PHN) policy traditions between countries and the diversity in scientific bases used to inform
policy(1) This is particularly apparent in the misalignment of micronutrient reference values (MRV) across European countries and
regions(2). MRV often inform food and nutrition policies which are becoming an increasingly more important part of public health policies
due to the burden associated with nutrition-related diseases.
Desk research and a questionnaire completed by key informants were used to collect data relating to the processes used to develop
current MRV in thirty-one European countries, employing methods reported previously(2). Data were collected on the process of scientific
decision-making, including information on the transparency and openness of the process.
Considerable diversity was observed across Europe in the institutional context and nutrition policy imperatives driving the process of
developing MRV. In those countries that have an established tradition of PHN policy the presence of advisory bodies is seen as key in
developing MRV and advising government departments charged with applying science into policy and practice. This position is partly
predicated by the institutional context (whether there is a dedicated department in charge of public health and how it is linked with other
departments, the diversity of bodies and organisations involved in setting the agendas and making decisions in PHN, the broader
governance context etc.), the PHN tradition and the historical context. Although the implication for nutrition policy is that there is a
dedicated scientific institution or basis that acts as policy advisor and consequently facilitates development of dedicated national-level
nutrition policies, it raises the issue of the extent to which scientific advisory committees are open, transparent and inclusive in the
process. It appears that there is a considerable divide in terms of the openness and transparency of the process between the countries with
an emerging democracy and those with established and increasingly participatory governance structures; also, in the complexity of the
governance system in charge of developing MRV and hence the extent to which these levels are specifically tailored to national needs. In
those countries with a more developed institutional architecture, scientific advisory bodies appear to be more than just a source of
technical and scientific advice, instead acting as a link between evidence and policy. In particular, the remaining question is to what extent
this model of informing national level of PHN policy can service the policy imperatives and the needs of wider society for the development
of PHN policy that includes the framing of a wider section of society. In addition, the selection of the advisory panel members is
not always clear and could lead to MRV that are eminence rather than evidence based.
Khan SS, Timotijevic L, Newton R, Coutinho D, Luis Llerena J, Ortega S, Benighaus L, Hofmaier C, Xhaferri Z, de Boer A, Urban C, Straehle M, Da Pos L, Neresini F, Raats MM, Hadwiger K (2016) The framing of innovation among European research funding actors: Assessing the potential for 'responsible research and innovation' in the food and health domain, Food Policy 62 pp. 78-87
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new framework for science and technology governance. The concept articulates the need for mutual exchange by which societal actors become responsive to each other early on in the process of innovation, with a view to facilitate ethically acceptable and sustainable innovation. There is relatively limited evidence to explore the extent to which the process of research and innovation under the terms of RRI is realised in practice, particularly in the context of food and health research. Although research to date has been examining innovation from the point of view of inputs and outputs?R&D funding and patents?we propose to examine the cognitive framing of innovation that shapes decisions of those who constitute a part of the innovation chain. This paper explores how the concept of innovation is understood and used in policy implementation, with a particular focus upon ?food and health? science and research policy and funding. Our analysis is based on 55 interviews of various actors engaged in research funding decision-making across eight European countries. Three themes emerged from the analysis: concept of innovation; conditions for innovation; and drivers of innovation; through these themes, the cognitive framing was drawn out. The cognitive framing suggests that innovation in the food and health domain is perceived to be focused on biosciences and marketable applications to the neglect of social sciences and broader public interest; that the ?innovation network? is primarily viewed as centred around scientific/technical and industrial actors; and that the demand-pull dynamic is relevant to innovation in the area of food and health, despite having been relegated in contemporary thinking and policies around innovation. These findings point to the inadequate consideration of the normative issues?how problems are to be defined and addressed?among national research funders in the food and health domain, and indicate a gap between the ideas of innovation under the terms of RRI and innovation as conceptualised by those involved in its governance.
Brown K, Timotijevic L, De Wit L, Brito Garcia N, Roszkowski W, Sonne A, Lahteenmaki L, Raats M (2011) Transparency and uncertainty in scientific advisory bodies: five European case studies, ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM 58 pp. 310-310
Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Shepherd R, Senior V (2009) Factors Influencing Self-Report of Mobile Phone Use: the Role of Response Prompt, Time Reference and Mobile Phone Use in Recall, APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 23 (5) pp. 664-683 JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Timotijevic L, Brown KA, Lahteenmaki L, De Wit L, Sonne A-M, Ruprich J, Rehurkova I, Jeruszka-Bielak M, Sicinska E, Garcia NB, Guzzon A, Jensen BB, Shepherd R, Barnett J, Raats MM (2013) EURRECA-A Framework for Considering Evidence in Public Health Nutrition Policy Development, CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 53 (10) pp. 1124-1134 TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC
Egan B, Hodgkins C, Shepherd R, Timotijevic L, Raats MM (2011) An overview of consumer attitudes and beliefs about plant food supplements., Food and Function 2 (12) pp. 747-752 Royal Society of Chemistry
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.
Jensen BB, Lähteenmäki L, Grunert KG, Brown KA, Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Shepherd R, Raats MM (2012) Changing micronutrient intake through (voluntary) behaviour change. The case of folate., Appetite 58 (3) pp. 1014-1022 Elsevier
The objective of this study was to relate behaviour change mechanisms to nutritionally relevant behaviour and demonstrate how the different mechanisms can affect attempts to change these behaviours. Folate was used as an example to illuminate the possibilities and challenges in inducing behaviour change. The behaviours affecting folate intake were recognised and categorised. Behaviour change mechanisms from "rational model of man", behavioural economics, health psychology and social psychology were identified and aligned against folate-related behaviours. The folate example demonstrated the complexity of mechanisms influencing possible behavioural changes, even though this only targets the intake of a single micronutrient. When considering possible options to promote folate intake, the feasibility of producing the desired outcome should be related to the mechanisms of required changes in behaviour and the possible alternatives that require no or only minor changes in behaviour. Dissecting the theories provides new approaches to food-related behaviour that will aid the development of batteries of policy options when targeting nutritional problems.
Brown KA, Timotijevic L, Geurts M, Arentoft JL, Bardes J, Fezeu L, Laville M, Ocke M, Tetens I, Vors C (2015) New insights from EuroDISH mapping of food and health research infrastructure, Ann Nutr Metab supp 1 (67) pp. 392-392
Jeruszka-Bielak M, Sicinska E, de Wit L, Ruprich J, Rehurkova I, Brown KA, Timotijevic L, Sonne A-M, Haugaard P, Guzzon A, Brito Garcia N, Alevritou E, Hermoso M, Sarmant Y, Lahteenmaki L, Roszkowski W, Raats MM (2015) Stakeholders' Views on Factors Influencing Nutrition Policy: a Qualitative Study Across Ten European Countries, POLISH JOURNAL OF FOOD AND NUTRITION SCIENCES 65 (4) pp. 293-302 DE GRUYTER OPEN LTD
The objective was to identify the main factors in? uencing micronutrient policies in the opinion of policy actors in ten European countries. Study was carried out during Jan-Nov 2010 in European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Nor-way, Poland and Spain. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with representatives of stakeholders involved in the vitamin D, folate and iodine policy making process. Fifty eight key informants representing mainly scienti? c advisory bodies (n=24) and governmental organisations (n=19) participated in the study. The remaining interviewees represented non-governmental organisations (n=6), industry (n=4) or were indepen-dent academic or health professional experts (n=5). Data were analysed by theoretical interpretative thematic analysis. Insights from interviewees on the development of micronutrient policies were grouped using the Public Health Nutrition Policy-making model. The main factors in? uencing the mi-cronutrient policies were: systematic monitoring of nutrition and health, causal relationships between consumers? diet-related behaviours and health outcomes, scienti? c recommendations from national bodies (Science area); scienti? c recommendations from international authorities and experiences of other countries, EU legislation, cultural factors (Wider context) and political environment, national capacity to deal with the problem, national leg-islation, economics, stakeholder engagement, relationships between stakeholders (Policy and institutions area). The spectrum and weight of the factors in? uencing nutritional policy depends on nutrient, country and degree of its ?advanced status? within nutrition policy, political environment, culture and socio-economic conditions as well as the point of view (who is expressing the opinion).
Timotijevic L, Raats MM, Barnett J, Brown K, Shepherd R, Fernandez L, Domolki L, Ruprich J, Sonne A-M, Hermoso M, Koletzko B, Frost-Andersen L, Timmer A (2010) From micronutrient recommendations to policy: consumer and stakeholder involvement, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION 64 pp. S31-S37 NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Brown KA, De Wit L, Timotijevic L, Sonne AM, Lähteenmäki L, Brito Garcia N, Jeruszka-Bielak M, SiciDska E, Moore AN, Lawrence M, Raats MM (2015) Communication of scientific uncertainty: International case studies on the development of folate and vitamin D Dietary Reference Values, Public Health Nutrition 18 (8) pp. 1378-1388 Cambridge University Press
Objective Transparent evidence-based decision making has been promoted worldwide to engender trust in science and policy making. Yet, little attention has been given to transparency implementation. The degree of transparency (focused on how uncertain evidence was handled) during the development of folate and vitamin D Dietary Reference Values was explored in three a priori defined areas: (i) value request; (ii) evidence evaluation; and (iii) final values. Design Qualitative case studies (semi-structured interviews and desk research). A common protocol was used for data collection, interview thematic analysis and reporting. Results were coordinated via cross-case synthesis. Setting Australia and New Zealand, Netherlands, Nordic countries, Poland, Spain and UK. Subjects Twenty-one interviews were conducted in six case studies. Results Transparency of process was not universally observed across countries or areas of the recommendation setting process. Transparency practices were most commonly seen surrounding the request to develop reference values (e.g. access to risk manager/assessor problem formulation discussions) and evidence evaluation (e.g. disclosure of risk assessor data sourcing/evaluation protocols). Fewer transparency practices were observed to assist with handling uncertainty in the evidence base during the development of quantitative reference values. Conclusions Implementation of transparency policies may be limited by a lack of dedicated resources and best practice procedures, particularly to assist with the latter stages of reference value development. Challenges remain regarding the best practice for transparently communicating the influence of uncertain evidence on the final reference values. Resolving this issue may assist the evolution of nutrition risk assessment and better inform the recommendation setting process.
Brown KA, Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Shepherd R, Lähteenmäki L, Raats MM (2011) A review of consumer awareness, understanding and use of food-based dietary guidelines., British Journal of Nutrition 106 (1) pp. 15-26 Cambridge University Press
Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) have primarily been designed for the consumer to encourage healthy, habitual food choices, decrease chronic disease risk and improve public health. However, minimal research has been conducted to evaluate whether FBDG are utilised by the public. The present review used a framework of three concepts, awareness, understanding and use, to summarise consumer evidence related to national FBDG and food guides. Searches of nine electronic databases, reference lists and Internet grey literature elicited 939 articles. Predetermined exclusion criteria selected twenty-eight studies for review. These consisted of qualitative, quantitative and mixed study designs, non-clinical participants, related to official FBDG for the general public, and involved measures of consumer awareness, understanding or use of FBDG. The three concepts of awareness, understanding and use were often discussed interchangeably. Nevertheless, a greater amount of evidence for consumer awareness and understanding was reported than consumer use of FBDG. The twenty-eight studies varied in terms of aim, design and method. Study quality also varied with raw qualitative data, and quantitative method details were often omitted. Thus, the reliability and validity of these review findings may be limited. Further research is required to evaluate the efficacy of FBDG as a public health promotion tool. If the purpose of FBDG is to evoke consumer behaviour change, then the framework of consumer awareness, understanding and use of FBDG may be useful to categorise consumer behaviour studies and complement the dietary survey and health outcome data in the process of FBDG evaluation and revision.
Barnett J, Timotijevic L, Vassallo M, Shepherd R (2008) Precautionary advice about mobile phones: public understandings and intended responses, JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH 11 (4) pp. 525-540 ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Timotijevic L, Raats MM, Barnett J, Brown K, Latheenmaki L, Jensen BB (2010) Health-behaviour-policy epistemological framework for the decision making of policy makers relevant to micronutrient recommendations, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 20 pp. 125-125 OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Timotijevic L, Raats MM (2007) Evaluation of two methods of deliberative participation of older people in food-policy development, HEALTH POLICY 82 (3) pp. 302-319 ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD
Timotijevic L, Breakwell GM (2000) Migration and threat to identity, JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 10 (5) pp. 355-372 JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Antiliou G, Timotijevic L, Raats M (2012) The role of willpower in successful maintenance of weight loss, PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH 27 pp. 148-149 TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Lawrence M, Burlingame B, Caraher M, Holdsworth M, Neff R, Timotijevic L (2015) Public health nutrition and sustainability., Public Health Nutrition 18 (13) pp. 2287-2292
In public health nutrition, sustainability refers to the ability to maintain food system capacity to support the nutritional health needs of current and future populations while protecting the ecological systems that produce food. The FAO defines sustainable diets as those that are ?protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources?.
de Wit L, Timotijevic L, Brown K, Guzzon A, Brito Garcia N, Roszkowski W, Rehurkova I, Sarmant Y, Alevritou E, Haugaard P, Bucchini L, Sonne AM, Hermoso M, Ruprich J, Lahtteenmaki L, Raats M (2011) Selecting options for national nutrition policy: a consideration of scientific evidence and alternative perspectives, ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM 58 pp. 129-129
Dhonukshe-Rutten RAM, Timotijevic L, Cavelaars AEJM, Raats MM, de Wit LS, Doets EL, Roman B, Ngo-de la Cruz J, Gurinovic M, de Groot LCPGM, van't Veer P (2010) European micronutrient recommendations aligned: a general framework developed by EURRECA Rosalie Dhonukshe, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 20 pp. 125-125 OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Dhonukshe-Rutten R, Snoek HM, Brown KA, Slimani N, Finglas P, Perozzi G, van Ommen B, Tetens I, Ocke M, Laville M, Fezeu L, Cavelaars AE, Timotijevic L, Zimmermann K, Poppe K, van't Veer P (2013) RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE EUROPEAN FOOD, NUTRITION AND PUBLIC HEALTH AREA: CURRENT INITIATIVES FROM EURODISH, ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM 63 pp. 1857-1857 KARGER
Gemen R, Breda J, Coutinho D, Fernández Celemín L, Khan S, Kugelberg S, Newton R, Rowe G, Strähle M, Timotijevic L, Urban C, Zolotonosa M, Hadwiger K (2015) Stakeholder engagement in food and health innovation research programming - key learnings and policy recommendations from the INPROFOOD project, Nutrition Bulletin 40 (1) pp. 54-65
© 2015 British Nutrition Foundation.Europe recognises the need for technological innovation along with the importance of bridging the gap between science and society. The European Commission has developed a strategy to foster public engagement and a sustained two-way dialogue between science and civil society, and has set up a framework for Responsible Research and Innovation. The EU-funded project INPROFOOD aimed to find new ways to establish dialogue and mutual learning among stakeholders meant to inform subsequent work and future initiatives towards Responsible Research and Innovation. More specifically, INPROFOOD aimed to: (1) increase understanding of the landscapes of food and health innovation research programming; (2) adapt, test and evaluate the application of different stakeholder engagement methods to the area of food and health innovation research programming, which included European Awareness Scenario Workshops, PlayDecide games and an Open Space conference; and (3) to develop an action plan to progress towards Responsible Research and Innovation in this domain. The latter entailed a so-called Mobilisation and Mutual Learning Action Plan, which lays down a concrete framework for inclusive stakeholder involvement at different stages of the research and innovation process, with tangible key actions in five priority areas.
Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Raats MM (2011) Engagement, representativeness and legitimacy in the development of food and nutrition policy, Food Policy 36 (4) pp. 490-498
In a policy environment that contains structures to enable public engagement, the validity of expressions of public opinion and concern are in part legitimated through constructions of their representativeness. The current paper examined the ways in which various organisations involved in food and nutrition policy development negotiated the legitimacy of their inclusion in policy processes through claims about who they represented and how, with a specific focus upon older people (aged 60+) as an example of the " hard to reach" This study is set in the context of theoretical considerations around the forms of representativeness that have been identified in the literature. A thematic analysis of 52 interviews with organisations and stakeholders active in the area of food and nutrition policy in England, UK explores these competing modalities of representation and how they are used both to claim legitimacy for self and to discount the claims of others. Different scripts of representation are deployed by various stakeholders and there is evidence of the strategic and the simultaneous deployment of different representativeness claims. The notions of expert representativeness permeate other modalities of representativeness, suggesting that the dominant framework for food and nutrition policy development is based upon technocratic models of decision-making. This highlights the way in which public views can be distanced from the framing of policy questions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Barnett J, Timotijevic L, Shepherd R, Senior V, Vincent J (2006) Understanding of the precautionary principle: 'no smoke without fire' or better safe than sorry?, pp. 123-127 European Commission
Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Brown K, Raats MM, Shepherd R (2013) Scientific decision-making and stakeholder consultations: the case of salt recommendations., Social Science & Medicine 85 pp. 79-86 Elsevier
Scientific advisory committees (SACs) are seen as "boundary organisations" working at the interface between science, policy and society. Although their narrowly defined remit of risk assessment is anchored in notions of rationality, objectivity, and reason, in reality, their sources for developing recommendations are not limited to scientific evidence. There is a growing expectation to involve non-scientific sources of information in the formation of knowledge, including the expectation of stakeholder consultation in forming recommendations. Such a move towards "democratisation" of scientific processes of decision-making within SACs has been described and often studied as "post-normal science" (PNS) (Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1993). In the current paper we examine the application of PNS in practice through a study of stakeholder consultations within the workings of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition (SACN). We use the theoretical insights from PNS-related studies to structure the analysis and examine the way in which PNS tenets resonate with the practices of SACN. We have selected a particular case of the SACN UK recommendations for salt as it is characterized by scientific controversy, uncertainty, vested interests and value conflict. We apply the tenets of PNS through documentary analysis of the SACN Salt Subgroup (SSG) consultation documents published in 2002/2003: the minutes of the 5 SACN SSG's meetings which included summary of the SACN SSG's stakeholder consultation and the SSG's responses to the consultation. The analysis suggests that the SACN consultation can be construed as a process of managing sources of risk to its organisation. Thus, rather than being an evidence of post-normal scientific practice, engagement became a mechanism for confirming the specific framing of science that is resonant with technocratic models of science holding authority over the facts. The implications for PNS theory are discussed.
Dhonukshe-Rutten RAM, Bouwman J, Brown KA, Cavelaars AEJM, Collings R, Grammatikaki E, De Groot LCPGM, Gurinovic M, Harvey LJ, Hermoso M, Hurst R, Kremer B, Ngo J, Novakovic R, Raats MM, Rollin F, Serra-Majem L, Souverein OW, Timotijevic L, Van't Veer P (2013) EURRECA-Evidence-Based Methodology for Deriving Micronutrient Recommendations, CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 53 (10) pp. 999-1040 TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC
Timotijevic L, Barnett J (2006) Managing the possible health risks of mobile telecommunications: Public understandings of precautionary action and advice, HEALTH RISK & SOCIETY 8 (2) pp. 143-164 ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Barnett J, Timotijevic L, Shepherd R, Senior V (2007) Public responses to precautionary information from the Department of Health (UK) about possible health risks from mobile phones, HEALTH POLICY 82 (2) pp. 240-250 ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD
Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Brown K, Shepherd R, Fernandez-Celemin L, Domolki L, Ruprich J, Dhonukshe-Rutten RA, Sonne AM, Hermoso M, Koletzko B, Frost-Andersen L, Timmer A, Raats MM (2011) The process of setting micronutrient recommendations: A cross-European comparison of nutrition-related scientific advisory bodies., Public Health Nutrition 14 (4) pp. 716-728 Cambridge University Press
Objective To examine the workings of the nutrition-related scientific advisory bodies in Europe, paying particular attention to the internal and external contexts within which they operate.
Design Desk research based on two data collection strategies: a questionnaire completed by key informants in the field of micronutrient recommendations and a case study that focused on mandatory folic acid (FA) fortification.
Setting Questionnaire-based data were collected across thirty-five European countries. The FA fortification case study was conducted in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and Hungary.
Results Varied bodies are responsible for setting micronutrient recommendations, each with different statutory and legal models of operation. Transparency is highest where there are standing scientific advisory committees (SAC). Where the standing SAC is created, the range of expertise and the terms of reference for the SAC are determined by the government. Where there is no dedicated SAC, the impetus for the development of micronutrient recommendations and the associated policies comes from interested specialists in the area. This is typically linked with an ad hoc selection of a problem area to consider, lack of openness and transparency in the decisions and over-reliance on international recommendations.
Conclusions Even when there is consensus about the science behind micronutrient recommendations, there is a range of other influences that will affect decisions about the policy approaches to nutrition-related public health. This indicates the need to document the evidence that is drawn upon in the decisions about nutrition policy related to micronutrient intake.
Dhonukshe-Rutten RAM, Timotijevic L, Cavelaars AEJM, Raats MM, de Wit LS, Doets EL, Tabacchi G, Roman B, Ngo-de la Cruz J, Gurinovic M, de Groot LCPGM, van 't Veer P (2010) European micronutrient recommendations aligned: a general framework developed by EURRECA, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION 64 pp. S2-S10 NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Antiliou G, Shepherd R, Timotijevic L, Mcconnon A, Stubbs J, Raats M, Lavin J, Whybrow S (2010) A study investigating aspects of control in successful maintenance of weight loss, PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH 25 pp. 144-145 TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Brown K, Timotijevic L, Geurts M, Arentoft J, Dhonukshe- Rutten R, Fezeu L, Finglas P, Laville M, Perozzi G, Ocké M, Poppe K, Slimani N, Snoek H, Tetens I, van ?t Veer P, Vors C, Zimmermann K (2017) Concepts and procedures for mapping food and health research infrastructure: New insights from the EuroDISH project, Trends in Food Science and Technology 63 pp. 113-131 Elsevier
Background Recent initiatives in Europe have encouraged the formalisation of research infrastructure to unify fragmented facilities, resources and services; and to facilitate world-class research of complex public health challenges, such as those related to non-communicable disease. How this can be achieved in the area of food and health has, to date, been unclear. Scope and approach This commentary paper presents examples of the types of food and health research facilities, resources and services available in Europe. Insights are provided on the challenge of identifying and classifying research infrastructure. In addition, suggestions are made for the future direction of food and health research infrastructure in Europe. These views are informed by the EuroDISH project, which mapped research infrastructure in four areas of food and health research: Determinants of dietary behaviour; Intake of foods/nutrients; Status and functional markers of nutritional health; Health and disease risk of foods/nutrients. Key findings and conclusion There is no objective measure to identify or classify research infrastructure. It is therefore, difficult to operationalise this term. EuroDISH demonstrated specific challenges with identifying the degree an organisation, project, network or national infrastructure could be considered a research infrastructure; and establishing the boundary of a research infrastructure (integral hard or soft facilities/resources/services). Nevertheless, there are opportunities to create dedicated food and health research infrastructures in Europe. These would need to be flexible and adaptable to keep pace with an ever-changing research environment and bring together the multi-disciplinary needs of the food and health research community.
Dhonukshe-Rutten R, Timotijevic L, Cavelaars A, De Wit L, Doets E, Raats MM, Tabacchi G, Wijnhoven T, Roman B, De La Cruz J, Gurinovic M, De Groot L, van't Veer P (2010) EURRECA?s General Framework to make the process of setting up micronutrient recommendations explicit and transparent, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 69
EURRECA is a Network of Excellence with the objective of addressing the problem of national variations in micronutrient recommendations and working towards a framework of advice to better inform policy-makers. It became apparent that the network needed a framework that puts the process of recommendation setting in the context of science, policy and society. Although variability in recommendations originates from the scientific evidence-base used and its interpretation (e.g. health outcomes, types and methods of evaluation of evidence, quantification of risk/benefit), the background information provided in the recommendation reports does not easily facilitate the disentangling of the relative contribution of these different aspects because of lack of transparency. The present report portrays the general framework (see Figure) that has been developed by and for EURRECA in order to make the process of setting up micronutrient recommendations explicit and transparent. In explaining the link from science to policy applications, the framework distinguishes four principal components or stages (see Figure). These stages are: a) Defining the nutrient requirements: A judgement about the (best) distribution(s) of the population requirement is necessary for estimating nutrient requirements. Many assumptions need to be made about the attributes of the population group. Furthermore, several factors (consumer behaviour as well as physiology) are to be included to characterize optimal health. b) Setting the nutrient recommendations: All available evidence is needed to formulate recommendations. Incorporating different endpoints provide the basis to formulate an optimal diet in terms of (non-)nutrients and food(group)s. c) Policy options: Policy options should be formulated on how the optimal diet can be achieved. They concern the advice of scientist and/or expert committees to the policy makers. Current policy options are setting up a task force, food based dietary guidelines, general health education, educational programme for specific group(s), voluntary or mandatory fortification, labelling, supplementation (general or for specific groups), inducing voluntary action in industry, legislation on micronutrient composition in food products, fiscal change, monitoring and evaluation of intake (via food consumption surveys) and/or nutritional status. d) Policy applications: Policies and planning, usually done by government, that lead to nutritional interventions or programmes
Brown KA, Timotijevic L, Barnett J, Ruprich J, RehoYková I, Hermoso M, Andersen L, Lillegaard I, Fernández-Celemín L, Larrañaga A, Lon
A, Raats MM
(2011) Micronutrient recommendation stakeholders' beliefs on dietary guidelines: a qualitative study across six European countries/regions., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 65 (7) pp. 872-874 Nature Publishing Group
A range of stakeholders have been involved in the development and implementation of dietary guidelines (DG) across Europe. Seventy-seven semi-structured qualitative interviews explored stakeholders' beliefs of DG in six European countries/regions. A main theme, variation in the interpretation of the term dietary guideline, was identified using thematic analysis. Descriptions of DG varied across stakeholder groups and countries. Reference was made to both food-based and nutrient-based guidelines, including the terms food-based DG and food guides (for example, pyramids), nutrient recommendations, dietary recommendations, dietary reference values and guideline daily amounts. The terminology surrounding DG requires greater clarity. Until that time, stakeholders would benefit from increased awareness of potential misinterpretations and the implications of this on multi-stakeholder, multi-national policy development and implementation.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 13 April 2011; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.38.
Dhonukshe-Rutten R, Snoek H, Brown KA, Slimani N, Finglas P, Perozzi G, van Ommen B, Tetens I, Ocké M, Laville M, Fezeu L, Cavelaars A, Timotijevic L, Zimmermann K, Poppe K, van ?t Veer P (2013) Research infrastructure in the European food, nutrition and public health area: Current Initiatives from EuroDISH., Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism: European journal of nutrition, metabolic diseases and dietetics 63 pp. 1857-1857
Successful food and health research infrastructure is necessary to conduct high quality research and design effective public health strategies to improve population health through lifestyle, food and nutrition. Objectives: EuroDISH will provide recommendations to stakeholders such as the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), the Joint Programming Initiative-Healthy Diet Healthy Life (JPI-HDHL) and future European funding programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020) on the needs and best-practice for food and health research infrastructures. Methods/results: Research has been organised using the ?DISH? model which represents four areas of food and health research: Determinants of dietary behaviour; Intake of foods and nutrients; Status and functional markers of nutritional health; Health and disease risks of foods and nutrients. The project consists of three phases: - Phase one (completed July 2013): Desk research, interviews (N=30) and stakeholder workshop conducted to map existing research infrastructure and identify gaps and needs. Initial findings suggested that research infrastructure was developed to different degrees across the four ?DISH? research areas. - Phase two: Synthesis of research infrastructures and or different areas of research and explore the governance of research infrastructure. - Phase three: Feasible designs and roadmaps for the future development of research infrastructure. Conclusions: The EuroDISH vision is to encourage the development of infrastructures that bring together resources and knowledge from different scientific fields. This will enable state-of-the-art, pioneering and innovative research to be conducted across Europe serving to provide a competitive advantage at a global level and tackle today?s food related social, economic and health challenges.
Whitson S (2017) The relationship between body mass index and psychological distress : exploring the mediating role of physical self-concept.,
Obesity is considered a significant risk factor for negative physical health and psychological outcomes. However, factors which account for some of the observed relationship have been under investigation for some time, and as a result have challenged the idea that obesity itself is the cause of the physical health and psychological outcomes. The picture is known to be complex, with influence of biological, psychological, social and behavioural factors. This thesis aimed to increase understanding of the factors involved in the relationship between obesity and psychological distress. In particular, to assess the role of physical self-concept and social comparisons in this relationship. Part one of this portfolio presents a systematic literature review of the relationship between physical self-concept and psychological wellbeing. The findings of the review suggest that positive physical self-concept is associated with better psychological wellbeing, and it highlighted the importance of physical self-worth and global self-esteem on mental health outcomes. Part two presents an empirical paper that investigated the mediating role of physical self-concept in the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and psychological distress in the general population. The findings suggested that physical self-concept mediates the relationship between BMI and psychological distress, and once this indirect effect is accounted for, the relationship between BMI and psychological distress changes in strength and valence. In addition, the study suggests the important influence of social comparisons and social norms in this model.
Timotijevic L (2018) Adolescents? perspectives on personal and societal responsibility for childhood obesity ? the study of beliefs through ?serious? game (PlayDecide), Children & Society Wiley
The dominant approaches to public health policy on childhood obesity are based on the neoliberal emphasis of personal choice and individual responsibility. We study adolescents? (N=81) beliefs about responsibility for childhood obesity as a public health issue, through an innovative participatory method, PlayDecide, organised in two countries: the UK and Spain. There is no evidence of a blanket rejection of individual responsibility, rather, a call for renegotiation of the values that inform adolescents? food choices. The findings suggest the need to broaden the framing of obesity-related policy to go beyond the nutritional paradigm and include other values that signal health.
Snoek H, Eijssen L, Geurts M, Vors C, Brown K, Bogaardt M, Dhonukshe-Rutten R, Evelo C, Fezeu L, Finglas P, Laville M, Ocké M, Perozzi G, Poppe K, Slimani N, Tetens I, Timotijevic L, Zimmermann K, van ?t Veer P (2018) Advancing food, nutrition, and health research in Europe by connecting and building research infrastructures in a DISH-RI: Results of the EuroDISH project, Trends in Food Science & Technology 73 pp. 58-66 Elsevier
Research infrastructures (RIs) are essential to advance research on the relationship between food, nutrition, and health. RIs will facilitate innovation and allow insights at the systems level which are required to design (public health) strategies that will address societal challenges more effectively.

In the EuroDISH project we mapped existing RIs in the food and health area in Europe, identified outstanding needs, and synthesised this into a conceptual design of a pan-European DISH-RI. The DISH model was used to describe and structure the research area: Determinants of food choice, Intake of foods and nutrients, Status and functional markers of nutritional health, and Health and disease risk.

Key findings:
The need to develop RIs in the food and health domain clearly emerged from the EuroDISH project. It showed the necessity for a unique interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder RI that overarches the research domains. A DISH-RI should bring services to the research community that facilitate network and community building and provide access to standardised, interoperable, and innovative data and tools. It should fulfil the scientific needs to connect within and between research domains and make use of current initiatives. Added value can also be created by providing services to policy makers and industry, unlocking data and enabling valorisation of research insights in practice through public-private partnerships. The governance of these services (e.g. ownership) and the centralised and distributed activities of the RI itself (e.g. flexibility, innovation) needs to be organised and aligned with the different interests of public and private partners.

Maringer M, van?t Veer P, Klepacz N, Verain M, Normann A, Ekman S, Timotijevic L, Raats M, Geelen A (2018) User-documented food consumption data from publicly available apps: an analysis of opportunities and challenges for nutrition research, Nutrition Journal 17 59 pp. 1-13 BioMed Central


The need for a better understanding of food consumption behaviour within its behavioural context has sparked the interest of nutrition researchers for user-documented food consumption data collected outside the research context using publicly available nutrition apps. The study aims to characterize the scientific, technical, legal and ethical features of this data in order to identify the opportunities and challenges associated with using this data for nutrition research.


A search for apps collecting food consumption data was conducted in October 2016 against UK Google Play and iTunes storefronts. 176 apps were selected based on user ratings and English language support. Publicly available information from the app stores and app-related websites was investigated and relevant data extracted and summarized. Our focus was on characteristics related to scientific relevance, data management and legal and ethical governance of user-documented food consumption data.


Food diaries are the most common form of data collection, allowing for multiple inputs including generic food items, packaged products, or images. Standards and procedures for compiling food databases used for estimating energy and nutrient intakes remain largely undisclosed. Food consumption data is interlinked with various types of contextual data related to behavioural motivation, physical activity, health, and fitness. While exchange of data between apps is common practise, the majority of apps lack technical documentation regarding data export. There is a similar lack of documentation regarding the implemented terms of use and privacy policies. While users are usually the owners of their data, vendors are granted irrevocable and royalty free licenses to commercially exploit the data.


Due to its magnitude, diversity, and interconnectedness, user-documented food consumption data offers promising opportunities for a better understanding of habitual food consumption behaviour and its determinants. Non-standardized or non-documented food data compilation procedures, data exchange protocols and formats, terms of use and privacy statements, however, limit possibilities to integrate, process and share user-documented food consumption data. An ongoing research effort is required, to keep pace with the technical advancements of food consumption apps, their evolving data networks and the legal and ethical regulations related to protecting app users and their personal data.

Touray M, Antonini A, Gentile G, Giglio M, Marcante A, Gage H, Fotiadis D, Gatsios D, Konitsiotis S, Timotijevic L, Egan B, Hodgkins C, Biundo R, Pellicano C (2018) Acceptability to patients, carers and clinicians of a mHealth platform for the management of Parkinson's disease (PD_Manager): study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial, Trials BioMed Central