Professor Summerbell is a dietitian by background, and her current research focuses on 1) the collation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults, and dissemination and translation of this evidence into policy and practice, 2) the development of community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adult obesity, 3) the development of tools to assess dietary intake and physical activity levels at population level. The need to assess and reduce health inequalities underpins this programme of work.
Professor Summerbell has a strong record of attracting research grants from a variety of funding sources. For example, she is a co-applicant on the UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence (Fuse)that includes all five Universities in the North East of England, and also the School for Public Health Research (Fuse). Professor Summerbell is currently a co-applicant on a number of research projects, including those funded by NIHR. She is currently working with colleagues from a number of different countries to update a Cochrane review in the prevention of childhood obesity, and this work will feed into the WHO Commission on ending childhood obesity.
Professor Summerbell was a member of the Research Funding Board of the NIHR Public Health Research Programme from it’s inception to 2013. Prof Summerbell has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed research papers and many Cochrane reviews, and is regularly invited to give keynote lectures at international conferences. She is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Obesity, and is a Trustee for the charity First Steps Nutrition.