What’s Cooking, July 2023

What’s Cooking is an update on all things related to CHEFS: the Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society research cluster at Sheffield Hallam University. What’s been cooking since our last edition?

We’ve had two fantastic ‘paired papers’ sessions recently, organised by sister foodie clusters:

  • In May, SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society) hosted a session on ‘Food Waste and Working with Vulnerable Participants’ with presentations from Professor Dorothy Yen (Brunel University), and from Dr Chrysostomos Apostolidis (Durham University) and Dr David M. Brown (Heriot-Watt University). Recording here
  • In June, SHARe (Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research) hosted a session on ‘Exploring human appetite and eating behaviour.’ The session, Chaired by Anna Sorsby, featured work presented by Dr Miriam Clegg (University of Reading) and Dr Jordan Beaumont (Sheffield Hallam University). Recording here A more detailed write-up is below!

Full details on the ‘past talks’ page. That wraps up our 22/23 program of talks—thanks to all for organising, presenting, attending, and participating!

Watch this space for what’s to come in 23/24, including a CHEFS-NCEFE collab on sustainable food. This is part of our commitment to support ShefFood’s ‘Local Food Action Plan’, and its aim to ‘connect and enhance communication between food organisations working on different parts of the Sheffield food system.’

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent activities;
  • summary of the recent SHARe paired papers session;
  • resources: Sheffield Food Partnership’s Local Food Action Plan, recently launched;
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the September 2023 edition of What’s Cooking; deadline for submissions (research news and updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to smith1@shu.ac.uk by 30 August.



Recent CHEFS Activities

Huge congratulations to Pallavi Singh and Dianne Dean (co-leads of the SWEFS cluster) and Scott Jones for recognition of their work with Sheffield City Council, around the council’s introduction of a food waste trial scheme. Pallavi, Di, and Scott are carrying out research to better understand the process of household food disposal across selected areas of Sheffield. The project was a shortlisted nomination for the 2023 PRME Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in SDG Integration!

On 8 June, Sheffield Business School hosted its annual PGR/ECR conference, with the theme ‘Developing Our Research Culture.’ The SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society) research culture was well represented by Nikita Marie Bridgeman, who won best PGR paper for her presentation, “Intergeneration Attitudes Towards Food Waste: A Socioeconomic Status Perspective.” Well done!

More accolades from the SBS PGR/ECR conference: The SHARe (Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research) research cluster was thrilled to have outstanding representation from one of our ECR colleagues, Dr Jordan Beaumont, and GTA, Megan Flint. Meg’s e-poster was entitled “The acceptability, sensory attributes, and emotional response to plant-based meat alternatives under open and closed label conditions.” Jordan’s work, on “An evaluation of tier two weight management services in the Yorkshire and Humber Region” went on to win the Best ECR Paper Prize! We’re thrilled for both of these SHARe colleagues!  It’s brilliant to see how well received both presentations were.

Dr Jordan Beaumont presented a poster on the same work at the 30th European Congress on Obesity (ECO), which was held in Dublin in May. You can view Jordan’s poster, here.

GTA Megan Flint with colleagues Dr Simon Bowles, Dr Tony Lynn and Jenny Paxman have had their work on The acceptability and sensory attributes of plant-based burger products under open and closed label conditions accepted for presentation at the forthcoming Nutrition Society Summer Conference: Nutrition at key stages of the lifecycle – Liverpool 2023. This work was undertaken with Fiona Leroy, a recent intern from Institute Agro Dijon. This work has been chosen by the Nutrition Society Theme Lead for Food Systems as their highlight of the conference and will therefore be presented in the conference opening session, after invited plenary lecture one.  We are so proud that this work has been recognised in this way.  It’s a great opportunity to showcase what the Food and Nutrition team are currently engaged in research-wise.  This is a further feather in Meg’s cap after last year’s postgraduate research win at the same conference, collaboratively hosted by F&N at Sheffield Hallam, University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, here at SHU last year.  In further great news, recent work by F&N colleagues Claire Wall and Dr Jo Pearce has also been accepted to be presented at the same conference.  Claire and Jo will be presenting on “Energy and nutrient content of school lunches provided for children attending early years settings within primary schools: A cross-sectional study”, and plan on submitting the full-text article to Public Health Nutrition shortly.

Jo Pearce and Claire Wall have had their paper “School lunch portion sizes provided for children attending early years settings within primary schools: a cross‐sectional study” published online in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Claire and Jo will also be presenting this work at the Nutrition Society conference next month.

Jordan Beaumont, Claire Wall, Lucie Nield, Jo Pearce, Simon Bowles and Rachel Rundle are undertaking work with the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Complications of Excess Weight (CEW) clinic, with a project exploring food insecurity and childhood obesity. Jordan and Lucie are also nearing the end of their tier 2 weight management service evaluation project, with interviews conducted and transcribed, and project RAs doing the first round of framework analysis. They are looking to hold a dissemination event in November with participants to feedback findings and get input on the recommendations regarding findings and best practice.


On 13 June, SHARe hosted a CHEFS online talks session with paired papers focussing on research relating to appetite regulation and modulation. The session, chaired by Anna Sorsby, featured work presented by Dr Miriam Clegg (University of Reading) and Dr Jordan Beaumont (Sheffield Hallam University). Recording here.

Dr Miriam Clegg is Associate Professor and Deputy Director (Institute of Food, Nutrition & Health), School Director of Postdoctoral Researchers, and Programme Director BSc Nutrition at University of Reading. Miriam is a Registered Nutritionist with a research interest in appetite, incorporating markers of food intake, eating behaviours and nutritional status including gastrointestinal transit, energy expenditure and hormones related to appetite. Miriam is PI on the BBSRC funded Food4Years Ageing Network. Miriam is Assistant Editor for 3 esteemed nutrition journals (BJN, J Hum Nutr and Dietetics and J Nutr Science). Miriam’s presentation was entitled: Dietary strategies for improving healthy life expectancy – the role of appetite research.

Abstract: Increased feelings of hunger and lack of satiety is linked to reduced adherence to weight loss interventions and difficulties in weight loss maintenance. With 63.8% of the population overweight or obese in England, appetite research has been suggested as a useful tool to reduce calorie intake. On the opposite side of the appetite narrative, a large section of the population are at risk of malnutrition, with or without obesity. UK life expectancy has increased through the 20th and 21st Centuries, yet there is little evidence that these gains in life expectancy are always translated to increased years living in good health for older adults, when compared to previous generations. A nutritious diet is recognised as essential for healthy aging, well-being, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and the rate of functional decline, and changes to lifestyle (i.e. diet, nutrition and physical activity) can maintain or improve body composition, cognitive and mental health, immune function and vascular health in older adults. Research often cites that 1/10 adults aged 65+ is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition based on 2015 statistics, however recent research from Age UK highlights that this may be even higher since the pandemic (2). Contrary to common belief, nutritional needs only decrease marginally with age, and are sometimes higher than the needs of younger individuals. Protein is a good example. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the PROT-AGE Study Group have advised that a healthy older adult’s recommended daily protein intake should be increased to 1-1.2g/kg to maintain functionality, independence and fight infection. Protein is also known to be the most satiating macronutrient, and strategies to improve protein intake in older adults need to ascertain if increases in protein intake are like to impact overall food intake. Recent research from our group has used strategies to increase protein intake in older adults, focusing on foods that are liked and consumed by older adults (3). In the future, designing and producing a food environment that meets the diverse needs of older adults should work with them in the creation of bespoke, equitable interventions (4).

  1. Yakubu AH, Platts K, Sorsby A et al. (2023) J Funct Foods 102, 105471
  2. Age UK (2012) Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study
  3. Smith R., Clegg M & Methven L. (2022) Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2137777
  4. Clegg M, Methven L, Lanham-New S et al . (2023) Nutr Bull. 48, 124-133

Dr Jordan Beaumont is a Registered Nutritionist and Lecturer within the Food and Nutrition group at Sheffield Hallam University. Jordan is Course Leader for the MSc Food Consumer Marketing and Product Development and co-lead of the Sheffield Hallam Appetite REsearch (SHARe) cluster. Jordan’s research focusses on obesity and weight management, exploring novel interventions for weight management, the perceptions of health and obesity, and eating behaviours and appetite control.  Jordan’s presentation was on Modulating eating behaviour with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Abstract: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation involving the application of a constant and weak electrical current to the brain, is a popular technique for changing cortical activity and downstream behaviour (1). There has been particular interest in the use of this technique in weight management, with an emphasis on changing eating behaviour. However, despite promising early findings, studies have failed to identify a consistent effect of tDCS across eating-related measures (2, 3). Our research explores the application of tDCS, and through this work we have established stimulation parameters that appear to produce a consistent change in eating behaviour, and identified populations who may benefit from this technique (4, 5). This paired papers talk will overview our recent studies applying tDCS to change eating-related measures across different population, and will consider the therapeutic use of this technique in weight management.

1. Filmer et al. (2014) Trends Neurosci; 37, 742-753, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2014.08.003

2. Fregni et al. (2008) Appetite; 51 (1), 34-41, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2007.09.016

3. Beaumont et al. (2021) Appetite; 157, 105004, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.105004

4. Beaumont et al. (2022) Obesity Reviews; 23 (2), e13364, https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13364

5. Beaumont et al. (2022) Psychosomatic Medicine; 84 (6), 646-657, http://doi.org/10.1097/psy.0000000000001074



ShefFood, Sheffield’s Food Partnership, launched its Local Food Action Plan (LFAP) in June. The LFAP is now live on the ShefFood website along with a brand new page for all our key strategic and research documents. You can also read some of the responses to the LFAP from the launch here. The next step for ShefFood is the Sustainable Food Places Silver Award bid which will be submitted in July. Want to get involved? Check out our latest events or email info@sheffood.org.uk


Call for content for the next edition of What’s Cooking

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be September 2023. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to j.smith1@shu.ac.uk by 30 August.

CHEFS blog

Interested in writing a blog post? These are usually 800-1200 words and written for a general audience in an informal style. Blogs can revisit work you’ve already done (e.g., highlighting a recent output/publication); discuss research or research-related activities (teaching, public engagement, etc.) that you are working on; offer your informed take on contemporary food/drink issues or policy; provide a profile on your research. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please get in touch with Jen (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk).

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