Dr Andrea Smith

Postdoctoral Associate
University Positions
Senior Research Associate
Specialising in
Behavioural Epidemiology

Andrea is a multidisciplinary public health scientist researching health behaviours of young people, focusing on the interplay of diet and physical activity, and relationships with mental and physical health across adolescence. She is also interested in the development of innovative digital family-centred health behaviour change interventions.

Academic interests

Andrea Smith’s academic interests include: 

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Health behaviours (diet, appetite, physical activity)
  • Public health
  • Behaviour change interventions.

Degrees obtained

  • BSc in Biomedical Science, University of Sussex, 2013.
  • MPhil in Public Health, University of Cambridge (cantab), 2014.
  • PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 2018.

Awards and prizes

  • Santander MPhil Prize from Homerton College (University of Cambridge), 2015.
  • Winner of the Spirit of SLMS (School of Life and Medical Sciences) Award at UCL, UK in ‘Scientific Excellence and Leadership’, 2018.


Prior to re-joining the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University Cambridge in 2021, Andrea studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sussex before completing an MPhil in Public Health at the University of Cambridge. She joined the Obesity Research Group in the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL in 2014 to pursue an MRC-funded PhD on the genetic and environmental aetiology of dietary preferences, and relationships with adiposity in young adults. From 2017-2020, Andrea worked as a (Senior) Research Fellow in the NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit at UCL where she led on research on various studies into the prevention of childhood obesity specifically within the UK public health policy context.

Andrea has experience in behavioural genetic modelling (twin analyses), meta-analytic techniques (e.g., dose-response modelling), design and conduct of behaviour change interventions, and mixed methods research approaches. She also is a core member of the UCL-based Gemini twin study team (a longitudinal birth cohort of 2400 families studying the origins of appetite and growth in early childhood into adolescence).

Andrea’s research aims to identify salient modifiable dietary and environmental influences on child health, thereby guiding policies and designing interventions to buffer these risk factors and increase child well-being from the start of life.

She is a member of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) and the Society for Social Medicine & Population Health.

Other interests

Running, pilates.

Publications, links and resources

Find more information about Andrea Smith's publications and research on Google Scholar.

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