CLOSER Seminars: Using longitudinal studies to investigate diet and nutrition ShareThis


This CLOSER Seminar featured talks from Dr Jane Maddock and Dr Sarah Crozier. Presentation slides are available to view below.

About the CLOSER Seminars

The aim of the seminar series to highlight methodological innovations and expertise, and in turn, facilitate and encourage future collaborations and new research


Dr Jane Maddock is a Research Associate at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL with an interest in understanding how different factors across the life course can impact healthy ageing.  She is a Registered Nutritionist with a BSc in Nutritional Science, an MSc in Global Health and PhD in Epidemiology. She is currently examining how dietary data was collected across the UK cohort studies with the aim of maximising their use in future studies.

Dr Sarah Crozier works at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton as a Senior Medical Statistician. Her research centres on the Southampton Women’s Survey, an internationally-renowned cohort study which recruited mothers before the conception of their child. Sarah’s research in women’s health behaviours has included a focus on the application of statistical techniques to describe diet, and has used Principal Component Analysis to develop dietary pattern scores that characterize broad features of women’s, infants’ and children’s diets.


Scoping existing dietary data available in CLOSER to support cross-cohort research questions

Diet is a major modifiable health behaviour influencing a wide variety of health outcomes. While it receives a lot of public attention it is a controversial topic that attracts both scientific and public criticism. One of the reasons for this criticism is that diet is difficult to capture. An individual’s diet is the result of the current zeitgeist, their social, economic and cultural circumstances and, it varies in relation to age, day of week, season and working patterns among other things. Although there have been major improvements in the validity of dietary assessment methods, measuring diet in observational studies will always have an element of imprecision. However with knowledge and cautious interpretation of results we can maximise the use of existing dietary data to inform policy. The longitudinal studies in CLOSER provide great resources in which we can examine longitudinal and secular trends in dietary intake and investigate both the contextual factors that drive dietary intake and the health outcomes that are the consequences of this. The first presentation, from Jane Maddock, will outline how the dietary data has been collected within each study and point to ways in which it can be used.

Download the slides from Jane’s presentation.

The association between an unhealthy childhood diet and body composition depends on prenatal experience: data from the Southampton Women’s Survey

The second presentation, from Dr Sarah Crozier, will focus on research exploring how the association between an unhealthy childhood diet and body composition depends on prenatal experience. The developmental mismatch hypothesis proposes that risk of diseases such as obesity is increased when impaired prenatal nutrition and growth, is followed by an unhealthy childhood diet.  This project used data from the Southampton Women’s Survey (SWS) to investigate whether there was an interaction between conditional growth in fetal abdominal circumference (AC) in late pregnancy and diet at age 6 years on body composition at age 9 years.

Download the slides from Sarah’s presentation.


If you require any further information, or have any questions about this seminar, please contact Jennie Blows (