Prof Sarah McNaughton

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Visitor

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Exer & Nutr Sciences

Campus

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Queensland, 2003
Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland, 1994

Biography

Alfred Deakin Professor McNaughton is Deputy Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Health and a nutritional epidemiologist in the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Fellow of Dietitians Australia and a Registered Public Health Nutritionist. 

She has over 20 years expertise in nutrition science and has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2003, and was subsequently appointed a Research Scientist in the MRC Centre for Human Nutrition Research (Cambridge, UK) and joined Deakin University in 2005. She has previously held nationally competitive fellowships from the ARC, Heart Foundation and NHMRC.

Professor McNaughton leads the Dietary Patterns and Eating Behaviours Research group of IPAN. She leads a program of research that focuses on strengthening the evidence-base for public health nutrition strategies and interventions with a focus on epidemiological methods. Her work involves developing novel methods for measuring and interpreting population dietary patterns, understanding the role of foods, eating patterns and dietary patterns in health and wellbeing and understanding food and nutrition literacy as a determinant of eating behaviours to inform interventions to assist people to adopt healthy and sustainable dietary patterns. She has particular interest in translation of evidence into guidelines and nutrition communication messages.

She has received funding from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council, Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia Research Trust and World Cancer Research Fund. She has served on a range of national and international committees and advisory groups for the IARC, WHO, Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, Heart Foundation and Nutrition Australia.

In September 2021, she was appointed Chair of the NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines Expert Committee.

Funding and Conflict of Interest Disclosures
Professor McNaughton has received grant funding as a Chief Investigator from NHMRC, ARC, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Diabetes Australia Research Trust, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), and as a collaborator from the Eisele Family Foundation (US), Medibank Health Research Fund, World Cancer Research Fund, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, NZ Lottery Health Research Fund, Nutricia Research Foundation (2013-2014).

The Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life (Shelf) study was supported by a National Health & Medical Research Council Project Grant (ID594767, 2010-2012). Coles supermarkets provided financial and in-kind support for the study and the National Heart Foundation of Australia provided in-kind support for the study.

The ShopSmart 4 Health study was supported by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme (LP0990129, 2009-2012). Coles supermarkets and the National Heart Foundation of Australia provided in-kind but not financial support for the study.

Professor McNaughton has conducted contract work for the following organisations: National Heart Foundation of Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, World Health Organisation.

Read more on Sarah's profile

Biography summary

2023 - present: Deputy Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Health, Deakin University.

2022 - present: Alfred Deakin Professor, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

June 2021 - 2022: Head, IPAN EMCR Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University.

2018 - present: Professor, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

June 2020 -  Dec 2021: Deputy Director, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Faculty of Health, Deakin University.

2015 - 2020: Discipline Leader – Dietetics, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

2016 - 2019: NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

2011 - 2015: Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

2009 - 2011: National Heart Foundation of Australia Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

2005 - 2009: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Public Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

June 2009: Visiting Research Fellow, Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, London, United Kingdom.

May - Aug 2007: Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London.

2003 - 2005: Research Scientist, Nutritional Epidemiology, Medical Research Council Collaborative Centre for Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
 

Research interests

Professor McNaughton’s current research interests include the assessment of dietary behaviours, diet quality and dietary patterns, their determinants and role in health. Her research program focuses on:

  • Understanding the role of foods, eating patterns and dietary patterns in health and wellbeing;
  • Understanding the dieterminant of dietary behaviors and the role of food and nutrition literacy;
  • Translation of dietary patterns research into nutrition interventions, strategies and policy.

She leads studies funded by the Australian Research Council, including the MEALS study and the Everyday Life Study.

She led a collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute and four other Australian research groups to develop an Australian version of the “ASA24”, online self-administered 24-hour recall. For more information:  https://www.deakin.edu.au/ipan/our-research/asa24-australia-2016

Affiliations

Dietitians Australia (1996 - present); Accredited Practising Dietitian, Fellow of  Dietitians Australia (2018 - )

Nutrition Society of Australia (1997 - 2003, 2007 - present); Registered Public Health Nutritionist.

American Society for Nutrition (2007 – present).

Australasian Epidemiological Association (2006 - present).

Nutrition Society UK (2003 - present).

Teaching interests

Current PhD Students

Nancy Tran, Deakin University. (Principal Supervisor). Understanding eating patterns and different food consumption at eating occasions.

Emily Denniss, Deakin University. (Principal Supervisor). Nutrition misinformation in social media.

Kate Wingrove, APD, Deakin University. (Principal Supervisor). Using evidence from dietary patterns research to inform dietary guidelines.

Hesti Retno Budi Arini, Deakin Univeristy. (Principal Supervisor).Understanding patterns of protein intake in the population.

Laura Marchese, Deakin University. (Associate Supervisor). Understanding plant-based dietary patterns and their associations with cardiometabolic health and cardiovascular disease.

Conferences

Invited presentations

McNaughton SA. Dietary guidelines, healthy and sustainable dietary patterns and food systems. Public Health Association of Australia Food Futures Conference 2022, “Transforming food systems for the planetary and public good”. March 2022.

McNaughton SA. Heart Foundation Webinar: From evidence to eating - A health professional webinar on how dietary patterns are leading the way forward in nutrition. Heart Foundation YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0PDvOr4Aso

McNaughton SA. Invited keynote presentation. Assessing dietary patterns and diet quality and associations with health outcomes. 2019 Nutrition Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting “Nutrition: The Epicentre of Health”. Newcastle, December 2019.

McNaughton SA. Diet and inflammation: applications and perspectives from epidemiology. Diet and inflammation Symposium. Nutrition Society of Australia Melbourne Group, October 2018.

McNaughton SA. Adapting an online 24-hour dietary recall system for use in Australia Workshop: A step by step guide to measuring diet intake using technology based methods. Dietary Assessment Satellite Workshop, Nutrition Society of Australia 40th Annual Scientific Meeting, Melbourne, November 2016.

McNaughton SA. Examining the relationship between diet quality and meal patterns. Symposium: Advancing Dietary Patterns Research: Levels, Layers, and Lifecourse, International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods, September 2015.

McNaughton SA. Invited keynote presentation. Understanding eating behaviours: Application of dietary pattern methods to behavioural nutrition research. International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Ghent, May 2013.

McNaughton SA. Research insights into dietary patterns and dietary behaviours in public health. Invited presentation. International Congress of Dietetics, Sydney, September 2012.

Professional activities

Current

Chair, NHMRC Dietary Guidelines Expert Committee, Appointed Sept 2021.

International Agency on Cancer (IARC) Monographs Working Group, Vol. 134 (Oct 2022- June 2023).

NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values Steering Group Advisory Committee (2022-2023).

Australian Academy of Science National Nutrition Committee (2022-25).

Academic Editor, Current Developments in Nutrition (2020 - )

 

Past

University Leadership

Head, Early and Mid-Career Researcher Development Program, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University (July 2021- 2022).

Deputy Director, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University (2020-21).

School Executive Group, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University (2016-21).

Academic Board, Deakin University (2019-21).

 

Expert Advisory Committees

Member, Management of CVD Risk Expert Subgroup, Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk Guidelines, Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (July 2021-2022)

Member, Board, Nutrition Australia Vic Division (May 2017- Nov 2021)

World Health Organisation Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group Subcommittee on Diet and Health (2018-21)

Awards and Recognition Committee, Dietitians Association of Australia (2014-20)

Council of Deans of Nutrition and Dietetics (Australia and New Zealand) (2017-20)

NHMRC Discretionary Foods and Drinks Expert Working Group (2018-19)

Heart Foundation Expert Reference Group, Position Statement on Meat, Eggs and Dairy Products (2018-19)

Corporate Sponsorship Reference Group, Dietitians Association of Australia (2017-18)

Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Program, Member of Management Committee & Chair of Selection Working Group (2015 -17)

Journal and Scientific Publications Management Committee, Dietitians Association of Australia (2011-15)

 

Conferences 

International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (2023).

International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (2018 - 21).

Scientific Program Committee, 2017 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2015-17).

Scientific & Social Program Committee 2016 Annual Conference, Dietitians Association of Australia (2014-16).

International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (2014-15).

National Scientific Program Committee, Nutrition Society of Australia (2010-13).

 

Editorial Boards

Editorial Board, International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition & Physical Activity (2007-20)

Editorial Board, British Journal of Nutrition (2011-14).

Editorial Board, Journal of Nutritional Sciences (2011-14).

Honorary Editor, Nutrition Society of Australia (2011-13).

 

Other 

2017 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank – Rethinking Food and Nutrition Science, Australian Academy of Science, Perth. Leader of Working Group, and co-led writing of Discussion Paper “The Australian Food and Nutrition Knowledge Hub: A critical piece of national infrastructure for nutrition science”. www.science.org.au/nutrition-discussion-papers

Science Meets Parliament, Nutrition Society of Australia Representative, 2017.

Reviewer, Nutrition Care Process Terminology, US Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 2016 & 2018.

Invited Expert, Australian National Preventive Health Agency Workshop. Evidence Briefs. Obesity trends, sedentary behaviour and sugar-sweetened beverages, 2013.

Awards

2020 Nutrition Society of Australia. This medal is awarded to Australian nutrition scientists with an outstanding record in animal or human nutrition.

2018 Fellow of Dietitians Australia

2017 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Supervision

2016 Nutrition Society of Australia Mid Career Travel Award. 

2016 Council of Academic Public Health Institutions (CAPHIA) Award for Excellence and Innovation in Public Health Team Research: The Melbourne Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program

2016-2019 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (Level 2)

2013  Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Award for Healthy Eating awarded to the Promoting Healthy Eating Through Price Reduction & Skill-Building Program, conducted in partnership with the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Coles Supermarkets. 

2011-2015 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

2010 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research: Early Career Researcher

2010 Dietitians Association of Australia Outstanding Contribution Award

2009-2010 National Heart Foundation of Australia Research Fellowship

2009 Nutrition Society of Australia Research Award

2007 NHMRC Travelling Award for Research Training

2007 Nutrition Society (UK) Travel Award

2007 Australian Nutrition Trust Travel Award

2005-2009 NHMRC Public Health Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Publications

No publications found

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Dietary patterns and diet quality in population health: developing the evidence-base for public health nutrition

Prof Sarah McNaughton

NHF Fellowship - Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - National Heart Foundation of Australia

  • 2011: $35,375
  • 2010: $69,750
  • 2009: $17,438

Development and application of practical tools for the assessment of dietary patterns in the Australian population

Prof Sarah McNaughton

NHMRC - Training PD Award - Public Health Fellowships

  • 2009: $53,438
  • 2008: $69,750
  • 2007: $68,500
  • 2006: $67,250

Effectiveness of a skill-building and price reduction intervention for promoting healthy eating

Prof Kylie Ball, Prof David Crawford, Prof Sarah McNaughton, A/Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Dr Nick Andrianopoulous

NHMRC Project Grant

  • 2012: $157,704
  • 2011: $188,174
  • 2010: $144,110

Understanding personal, social and environmental influences on nutrition and physical activity behaviours among older adults living in urban and rural areas

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof David Crawford, Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Jo Salmon

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2012: $64,603
  • 2011: $62,210
  • 2010: $91,868

Understanding personal, social and environmental influences on nutrition and physical activity behaviours among older adults

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof David Crawford, Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Jo Salmon, Dr Wendy Hunter

DART Grant - Research - Diabetes Australia - Victoria (Research Trust)

  • 2009: $29,452
  • 2008: $29,812

Improving eating behaviours in low-income communities

Prof Kylie Ball, Prof David Crawford, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Ms Victoria Inglis, Ms Beth Scholes

ARC Linkage - Projects Rnd 2

  • 2012: $10,985
  • 2011: $21,156
  • 2010: $26,034
  • 2009: $15,304

Assessing sustainability of positive outcomes in a successful child obesity prevention intervention: Follow-up of The Melbourne InFANT Program

Prof Kylie Hesketh, Prof Karen Campbell, Prof David Crawford, Prof Jo Salmon, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Dr Zoe McCallum, Prof Adrian Cameron

NHMRC Project Grant

  • 2013: $345,456
  • 2012: $295,564
  • 2011: $241,679

Dietary patterns across the life-course: implications for the prevention of obesity, cardiometabolic disease and public health

Prof Sarah McNaughton

ARC Fellowships - Future Fellowships

  • 2014: $91,381
  • 2013: $184,123
  • 2012: $184,982
  • 2011: $267,180

Understanding meal patterns: developing the evidence-base for nutrition messages

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof Tony Worsley

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2015: $95,100
  • 2014: $92,166
  • 2013: $109,291

Building evidence to improve health through optimal diet

Prof Sarah McNaughton

NHMRC CDF - Career Development Fellowship

  • 2019: $122,662
  • 2018: $120,849
  • 2017: $119,181
  • 2016: $117,535

Eating patterns: How do they interact with activity, sleep and mood?

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof David Dunstan, Dr Charli Sargent, Prof Tony Worsley, Dr Helen Macpherson

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2019: $219,934
  • 2018: $149,302
  • 2017: $141,935

A 21st Century Approach for Improving Self-Management of Heart Disease

Prof Ralph Maddison, Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Brian Oldenburg, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Dr Jonathan Rawstorn, Dr Karen Lamb, A/Prof Lan Gao, A/Prof Chris Neil, Dr John Amerena, Prof Marj Moodie, Dr Voltaire Nadurata, Prof Clara Chow

NHMRC Project Grant

  • 2020: $153,781
  • 2019: $348,604
  • 2018: $381,552

Reforming evidence synthesis and translation for food and nutrition policy

Prof Mark Lawrence, Dr Phillip Baker, Prof Sarah McNaughton

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2021: $130,097
  • 2020: $120,843
  • 2019: $110,410

TeleFFIT - A personalized, telehealth exercise and lifestyle risk factor management program to reduce falls and fracture risk in older adults: A 12-month hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial

Prof Robin Daly, A/Prof Kim Bennell, A/Prof David Scott, Prof Peter Ebeling, Prof Andrea Maier, Prof Lora Giangregorio, Prof Rana Hinman, Prof Jennifer Watts, A/Prof Harriet Koorts, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Dr Catherine Milte

MRFF (NHMRC) Preventive and Public Health Research Grant

  • 2021: $490,652
  • 2020: $902,851

Other Public Sector Funding

Assessing dietary intakes among infants and toddlers in the InFANT study

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof Karen Campbell

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

  • 2015: $38,100

Analysis of beverage consumption of young adults using the MEALS project

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof Tony Worsley

VicHealth Grant - Research

  • 2016: $34,952

NHMRC evidence review iodine-RFx5845 iodine (internal NHMRC number 2020-21RFQ009).

Prof Judi Porter, A/Prof Susan Torres, Prof Sarah McNaughton, A/Prof Ewa Szymlek-Gay, Dr Katherine Livingstone, Dr Claire Margerison, Dr Miaobing Zheng, A/Prof Kristy Bolton

National Health and Medical Research Council

  • 2022: $67,165
  • 2021: $17,018

NHMRC evidence review sodium - RFx5844 sodium (internal NHMRC number: 2020-21RFQ008).

A/Prof Susan Torres, Prof Judi Porter, Prof Sarah McNaughton, A/Prof Ewa Szymlek-Gay, Dr Katherine Livingstone, Dr Claire Margerison, Dr Miaobing Zheng, A/Prof Kristy Bolton

National Health and Medical Research Council

  • 2024: $53,540
  • 2022: $79,140
  • 2021: $20,291

Industry and Other Funding

Lifestyle contributors to iron status in Australian blood donors

Prof Lynn Riddell, Prof Caryl Nowson, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Dr David Irving

Aust Red Cross Society

  • 2011: $3,000
  • 2010: $4,432

Enhancing the evidence base by value adding to an existing successful intervention for child obesity prevention. Getting healthy eating and active play right from the start.

Prof Karen Campbell, Prof Kylie Hesketh, Prof David Crawford, Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof John Lynch

WCRFI Grant - Research - World Cancer Research Fund International

  • 2015: $20,366
  • 2014: $112,747
  • 2013: $95,663
  • 2012: $92,002
  • 2011: $77,812

Understanding the importance of a healthy diet for preserving cognitive function of older Australians

Dr Catherine Milte, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof David Crawford, Prof Kylie Ball

Medibank Private

  • 2014: $48,514

Scoping review on dietary patterns and their health impact

Prof Mark Lawrence, Prof Sarah McNaughton

World Health Organisation - WHO

  • 2016: $3,894
  • 2015: $23,646

Dietary patterns

Prof Mark Lawrence, Prof Sarah McNaughton

World Health Organisation - WHO

  • 2016: $6,372

Redevelopment of the NEST program and evaluation framework.

Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Sarah McNaughton, Dr Rebecca Lindberg

Oz Harvest Limited

  • 2019: $9,838

Other Funding Sources

Online dietary assessment for research: The Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recall (ASA24) for Australia

Prof Sarah McNaughton, Prof Kylie Ball, Prof Clare Collins, A/Prof Margaret Allman-Farinelli, Prof Linda Tapsell, Prof David Crawford, Prof Lynne Cobiac, Dr Tracy Burrows, Dr Amy Subar

University of Sydney (CAT8), University of Newcastle (CAT 8), CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, University of Wollongong, ARC LIEF - Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities Program

  • 2015: $90,908
  • 2014: $510,000

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2023

Kate Wingrove

Thesis entitled: Using dietary patterns evidence in dietary guideline development

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2017

Rebecca Leech

Thesis entitled: Understanding adults' eating patterns

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Carol Matthews

Thesis entitled: Exploring the eating behaviours of people in mid-late adulthood

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Felicity Jayne Pendergast

Thesis entitled: Examining the eating patterns of young adults

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2016

Maree Mead

Thesis entitled: Dietary patterns and cardiometabolic risk among older adults

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Associate Supervisor
2022

Michael Hart

Thesis entitled: Diet, inflammation and cognitive function in mid-aged and older adults

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Linda Atkins

Thesis entitled: Iron nutrition of Australian pre-schoolers

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (High Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Sara Ebrahimi

Thesis entitled: Dietary patterns in Iranian adults

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2017

Eloise Annette Fletcher

Thesis entitled: Sedentary Behaviour and Cardiometabolic Health in Adolescents: Role of Diet

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2016

Jane Winter

Thesis entitled: Nutritional Risk in Community Dwelling Older Adults

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2013

Lena Diana Amber Stephens

Thesis entitled: EXPLORING INFLUENCES ON EATING BEHAVIOURS OF ADOLESCENTS EXPERIENCING SOCIOECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

2012

Alison Spence

Thesis entitled: Mediators of Dietary Patterns in an Intervention to Improve Early Childhood Nutrition

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences