Senior Research Associate
PhD, MA, BSc (hons)
Background and experience
Thomas was awarded a BSc in Geography (2007), MA in Human Geography Research (2008) and PhD (2012) from Newcastle University. His PhD explored the role of neighbourhood built and food environments in contributing to poor diet, physical inactivity and obesity.
Thomas moved to CEDAR in 2011 to take up a Career Development Fellowship, and is now a Research Associate in the Evaluation of population interventions in dietary public health programme. He submitted expert written and oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee (2018), to guide their report on childhood obesity.
Current work and interests
Thomas is primarily interested in the use of novel quantitative methods, especially GIS and spatial statistics, to study neighbourhood food environments and their effects on dietary behaviours, diet, diet-related disease, and inequalities therein, mostly through linking large scientific datasets (e.g. the Fenland Study, UK Biobank) to administrative and routinely collected data. He is also currently researching the potential and existing applications of the English planning system to create healthier neighbourhoods, as a form of public health intervention for population-level obesity prevention. Thomas is also interested in the development of online tools for effective knowledge exchange (see Tools), including how tools can be used by those in planning and public health to provide decision-support, and how uptake of tools can be maximised.
Burgoine T, Sarkar C, Webster CJ, Monsivais P. Examining the interaction of fast-food outlet exposure and income on diet and obesity: evidence from 51 361 UK Biobank participants. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2018. In press.
Burgoine T, Forouhi NG, Griffin SJ, Brage S, Wareham NJ, Monsivais P. Does neighborhood fast-food outlet exposure amplify inequalities in diet and obesity? A cross sectional study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;103:1-8:doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.128132.
Burgoine T, Forouhi NG, Griffin SJ, Wareham NJ, Monsivais P. Associations between exposure to takeaway food outlets, takeaway food consumption, and body weight in Cambridgeshire, UK: population based, cross sectional study. BMJ. 2014;348(7950):1-10:doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1464.
Burgoine T, Monsivais P. Characterising food environment exposure at home, at work, and along commuting journeys using data on adults in the UK. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2013;10(85):doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-85.
Food environment assessment tool (Feat) www.feat-tool.org.uk
Online, interactive spatial data-visualisation tool for measuring, mapping and monitoring regional and neighbourhood food access across England, including over time.
- Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO), 2008-11
- RGS/IBG GIScience Research Group (GIScRG), 2010-12
- RGS/IBG Geography of Health Research Group (GHRG), 2010-12
Current and previous grants
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (SPHR) (£149,344.17) “Evaluating the use and acceptability of, funding mechanisms and demand for online spatial data visualisation tools for local public health decision-support”, May 2018 – Oct 2019
- NIHR SPHR (£112,016.90) “Exploring the nature and acceptability of local authority actions to restrict proliferation of hot food takeaways in England”, Nov 2017 – Feb 2019
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account grant (£24,112.16) “Pilot development of the Food environment assessment tool (Feat)”, June 2015 – Dec 2016