Professor of Dietary Public Health
- 2012: PGCert, Science Communication, with distinction, University of the West of England
- 2009: Member of the Higher Education Academy
- 2007: MSc, Health Psychology, with distinction, City University, London
- 2004: PhD, Epidemiology & Public Health, Newcastle University
- 2001: MBBS, with distinction, Newcastle University
- 1998: BMedSci (Hons), Health Psychology and Psychiatry, 2:i, Newcastle University
Background and experience
Jean Adams trained in medicine before completing a PhD on socio-economic inequalities in health. This was followed by an MRC Health of the Population fellowship and an NIHR Career Development Fellowship both exploring influences on health behaviours and socio-economic inequalities in these. During these fellowships Jean was appointed Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in Public Health at Newcastle University. Jean moved to Cambridge University to join the MRC Epidemiology Unit and CEDAR in 2014 where she helped establish the Dietary Public Health group. She became Programme Leader in the newly formed Population Health Interventions programme in 2020, and was appointed Professor of Dietary Public Health in 2022.
Current work and interests
Jean’s research focuses on population-level influences on, and interventions to improve, dietary public health. She conducts observational, evaluative and theoretical work exploring how social, fiscal and physical environments influence what people eat and how these can be changed to help people eat better. Current and recent examples of research leadership include evaluations of the UK ‘soda tax’, ‘junk free’ supermarket checkouts, calorie menu labelling and food marketing restrictions.
Jean has been academic director of Cambridge’s MPhil in Public Health since 2017. She led development of and is the inaugural academic director of the new MPhil in Population Health Sciences which will welcome its first students in October 2021.
- Academic editor, PLOS Medicine
- Member of the Higher Education Academy
- Deputy director, Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership
Current and previous grants
- Preparing for an evaluation of new UK restrictions on TV food advertising and online food marketing: developing a concept map and collecting baseline data for a process evaluation. NIHR Public Health Research (Rapid Funding Scheme), £49,898. Principal investigator. 2021
- Transforming Urban Food Systems for Planetary and Population Health (The Mandala Consortium). BBSRC, £5,999,467. Co-investigator and work package lead. 2021-26
- Implementation and assessment of mandatory calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector. NIHR Policy Research Programme, £844,645. Principal investigator. 2021-24
- Understanding the association between use of digital food delivery services and household food purchasing behaviours. NIHR School of Public Health Research, £105,186. Co-investigator. 2021-22
- Evaluation of planning policy to regulate takeaway food outlets for improved health in England. NIHR Public Health Research programme, £1,340,893. Co-investigator and work package lead. 2020-23
- Fresh Street: a cluster randomised controlled trial of the benefits of a place and household-level subsidy for fresh fruit and vegetables on diet, health and the wider environment. NIHR Public Health Research, £1,492,795. Co-investigator. 2020-23
- Theorising and measuring intervention agency. Department of Health & Social Care Public Health Research Consortium, £340,017. Principal investigator. 2020-22
- Population Health Interventions Programme, MRC Epidemiology Unit. MRC Intramural Programme, £4,082,000. Co-principal investigator. 2020-25
- Evidence for obesity prevention. Public Health England, £29,963. Co-investigator. 2020
- Individual and environmental approaches to promote alternatives to the car: feasibility, pilot and process evaluation studies in the North-East and the East of England. NIHR School of Public Health Research, £476,365. Co-investigator. 2019-21
- Evaluation of the removal of HFSS ‘junk-food’ advertising in public transport networks: natural experiment study. NIHR School of Public Health Research, £426,336. Co-investigator. 2019-22
- International food policy study: Evaluating the impact of food labelling, marketing, and fiscal nutrition policies. Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CAN$2,994,975. Co-investigator. 2019-24
- Examining public attitudes to sugar and the soft drinks industry levy. The Health Foundation. £25,152. Principal investigator. 2018-19
- How can local authorities and the public use existing policy levers more effectively to shape a healthier food environment? NIHR School of Public Health Research, £95,160. Co-investigator. 2018-19
- Development of guidelines to manage conflicts of interest for researchers engaging with the food industry. Medical Research Council. £99,168. Co-investigator. 2017-18
- Attitudes to and acceptability of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The Health Foundation. £25,635. Principal investigator. 2017-18
- Evaluation of the health impacts of the UK Treasury Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL). NIHR Public Health Research Programme, £1,498,956. Co-investigator and work package lead. 2017-21
- Global Diet & Activity Research Group (GDAR) and Network. NIHR Global Health Research Groups. £1,999,814. Co-investigator. 2017-20
- The impact of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on the extent and nature of marketing of soft drinks and other products in the UK. Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Knowledge Exchange Studentship. £46,230 (for co-funding with PHE; studentship awarded to Hannah Forde). Lead supervisor. 2017-21
- The impact of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on the extent and nature of marketing of soft drinks and other products in the UK. Public Health England Studentship. £46,230 (for co-funding with ESRC DTP; studentship awarded to Hannah Forde). Lead supervisor. 2017-21
- Supplementary Planning Directives (SPDs) as a local authority intervention to promote healthier diet. NIHR School of Public Health Research, £150,000. Principle investigator. 2017-19
- Exploring the impact of removing less healthy food from retail checkouts. Department of Health Public Health Research Consortium, £248,364. Co-principle investigator. 2017-18
- Evaluation of the impacts on health of the proposed UK industry levy on sugar sweetened beverages: developing a systems map and data platform, and collection of baseline and early impact data. NIHR Public Health Research Programme (Rapid Funding Scheme), £49,959. Co-investigator. 2016
- Evaluation of the impact of a levy on added-sugar soft drinks on sales and purchasing behaviour within Jamie’s Italian restaurants. NIHR Public Health Research Programme (Rapid Funding Scheme) £47,480. Co-investigator .2015-16
- Determinants and outcomes of home food preparation. NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (Dr Susanna Mills). £279k. Lead supervisor. 2014-17.
- How do public health practitioners view and engage with research? A review of requests for research support, qualitative interview study and survey of public health practitioners. NIHR School of Public Health Research. £42k. Co-applicant. 2014-15.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a physical activity loyalty card to maintain behaviour change: a cluster randomised controlled trial. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. £831k. Co-applicant. 2014-18.
- Inequitable access to preventive and therapeutic health interventions for older people and the consequences of intervention-generated inequalities (IGIs). NIHR School of Public Health Research. £1,134k. Co-applicant. 2013-17.
- Transforming the ‘foodscape’: development and feasibility testing of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub or restaurant food. NIHR School of Public Health Research. £447k. Co-applicant. 2013-16.
- Phase 2 research to support the evaluation and implementation of adult cooking skills interventions in the UK: pilot RCT with process and economic evaluation components. Department of Health, Public Health Research Consortium. £356k. Co-applicant. 2013-15.
- Parental incentives and quasi-mandatory schemes for increasing uptake of immunisations in pre-school children. NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. £275k. Principal applicant. 2012-14.
- Financial incentives for improving uptake of health promoting behaviours. NIHR Career Development Fellowship. £445k. Personal award. 2011-15.
- Outreach programmes for health improvement of traveller communities: a pluralistic synthesis of evidence. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. £329k. Co-applicant. 2011-14
- Do socio-economic differences in perceptions of risks to health contribute to socio-economic differences in health-promoting behaviours? British Medical Association. £35k. Principal applicant. 2011-13
- Research to support the evaluation and implementation of adult cooking skills interventions in the UK. Department of Health, Public Health Research Consortium. £25k. Co-applicant. 2011
- Evaluation of the ‘Change4Life’ convenience store programme to promote sales and consumption of fruit and vegetables. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. £1,407k. Co-applicant. 2010-13.
- Evaluation of the School Sport Partnership Dance Mat Scheme: The “IDEAS” study (Impact of Dance Exercise Activity in Schools) North Tees Primary Care Trust. £91k. Co-applicant. 2010-12.
- The new TV diet – evaluating the effect of the UK 2007 OfCom restrictions on television food advertising to children. National Prevention Research Initiative. £92k. Principal applicant. 2009.
- MRC Special Training Fellowship in Health Services and Health of the Public Research. £158k. Personal award. 2005-09.
- Faculty of Public Health Medicine and BUPA Joint Research Fellowship. £43k. Personal award. 2001-04.