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Margo Barker

Reader - Food And Nutrition Group


I completed my PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in nutritional biochemistry, and began my research career in public health nutrition at the University of Ulster.  After a period working as a public health nutritionist with the dairy industry, I joined the University of Sheffield and was pivotal in establishment of highly successful postgraduate programs in Human Nutrition within a research-led environment, producing a significant body of published research and attracting considerable external funding. I have an excellent track record of translating student projects into published papers. I am well known nationally and internationally for scholarship in public health nutrition.  My research has also lent itself to substantial activity in knowledge transfer and public engagement through public lectures, museum exhibitions, media consultancy and school outreach activities.

My research program embraces the broad area of public health nutrition.  I have had particular experience of conducting epidemiological studies, which have explored the antecedents of food choice, nutrient intake and disease risk.  I have expertise in dietary pattern analysis and have used data reduction methods to good effect to characterise dietary habits.  I am currently working in an interdisciplinary context in the area of sustainable food choice, which examines issues around food security, particularly investigating public attitudes to and media messages about genetically modified food and understanding how (and if) demand for meat intake may be moderated.  These research questions are being addressed by using both qualitative and quantitative research methods and address psychological, social and policy drivers of food choice.  The relationship between convenience food consumption and household food waste has been a recent focus of study.  I have also carried out a body of study addressing the important issue of food poverty.   More clinically based research has examined the effect of polyphenol-rich drinks on cardiovascular risk.



  • 1985: PhD, Queens University Belfast
  • 1981: MSc, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
  • 1980: BAgr, Queens University Belfast

UG External Examiner


  • 2003 to 2006: BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, King's College London, United Kingdom
  • 1999 to 2002: BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, University of North London, United Kingdom

Reader - Food and Nutrition Group


Department of Service Sector Management

Sheffield Business School



Journal articles

Barker, M., & Russell, J. (2020). Feeding the food insecure in Britain: learning from the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. Food Security, 12 (4), 865-870.

Barker, M., Wong, F., Jones, C.R., & Russell, J.M. (2019). Food purchasing decisions and environmental ideology: an exploratory survey of UK shoppers. Sustainability, 11 (22), 6279.

Boston, P.F., McKirdy, S.J., Al-Turki, M.A., Barker, M., & Russell, J.M. (2019). Vitamin B12 and folate levels in progression of Alzheimer's disease - a short report. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice.

Graham, F., Russell, J., Holdsworth, M., Menon, M., & Barker, M. (2019). Exploring the Relationship between Environmental Impact and Nutrient Content of Sandwiches and Beverages Available in Cafés in a UK University. Sustainability, 11 (11), e3190.

Mallinson, L., Russell, J., Cameron, D.D., Ton, J., Horton, P., & Barker, M.E. (2018). Why rational argument fails the genetic modification (GM) debate. Food Security, 10 (5), 1145-1161.

Sprake, E.F., Russell, J.M., Cecil, J.E., Cooper, R.J., Grabowski, P., Pourshahidi, L.K., & Barker, M. (2018). Dietary patterns of university students in the UK: A cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal, 17 (1), 90.

Barker, M., Halliday, V., Wottge, M., Mak, D., & Russell, J.M. (2018). Food security, nutrition and health of food bank attendees in an English city: A cross-sectional study. Journal of hunger and environmental nutrition, 14 (1-2), 155-167.

Timon, C.M., Cooper, S.E., Barker, M.E., Astell, A.J., Adlam, T., Hwang, F., & Williams, E.A. (2018). A comparison of food portion size estimation by older adults, young adults and nutritionists. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 22 (2), 230-236.

Chappell, A., Simper, T., & Barker, M. (2018). Nutritional strategies of high level natural bodybuilders during competition preparation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15 (4).

Sprake, E., Lavin, J., Grabowski, P., Russell, J., Featherstone, M., & Barker, M. (2017). Eating habits associated with body weight gain in female university students: a UK-based study of Slimming World members. British Food Journal, 119 (12), 2571-2582.

Ensaff, H., Crawford, R., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2017). Preparing and sharing food: A quantitative analysis of a primary school-based food intervention. Journal of Public Health (United Kingdom), 39 (3), 567-573.

Righton, O., Egan, P., Russell, J.M., Cook, T.M., & Barker, M.E. (2017). Dietary advice for improving cardiovascular health in UK running magazines: A content analysis. Nutrition and Food Science, 47 (1), 18-30.

Barker, M. (2016). How poor are foodbank recipients’ diets? A cross-sectional study of nutrient intake. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70 (1), 1-119.

Mallinson, L.J., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2016). Attitudes and behaviour towards convenience food and food waste in the United Kingdom. Appetite, 103, 17-28.

Homer, C., Goldsborough, N., Barker, M., & Atchinson, R. (2016). Healthy eating in the early years : a qualitative exploration of food provision in the childminder setting. British Food Journal, 118 (4), 992-1002.

Ensaff, H., Russell, J., & Barker, M.E. (2016). Adolescents' beverage choice at school and the impact on sugar intake. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70 (2), 243-249.

Frost, C.J., Pelham-Burn, S.E., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2016). Improving the Nutritional Quality of Charitable Meals for Homeless and Vulnerable Adults: A Mixed Method Study of Two Meals Services in a Large English City. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 11 (1), 14-28.

Ensaff, H., Canavon, C., Crawford, R., & Barker, M.E. (2015). A qualitative study of a food intervention in a primary school: Pupils as agents of change. Appetite, 95, 455-465.

Barker, M.E., Blain, R.J., & Russell, J.M. (2015). The influence of academic examinations on energy and nutrient intake in male university students. Nutrition Journal, 14 (1).

Harris, P.R., Brearley, I., Sheeran, P., Barker, M., Klein, W.M.P., Creswell, J.D., ... Bond, R. (2014). Combining self-affirmation with implementation intentions to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. Health Psychology, 33 (7), 729-736.

Barker, M. (2014). The effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on dietary intake, body weight and body composition. Nutrition Research, 34, 17-24.

Barker, M. (2014). Effect of a tart cherry juice supplement on arterial stiffness and inflammation in healthy adults: A randomised controlled trial. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 69, 122-127.

Pelham-Burn, S.E., Frost, C.J., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2014). Improving the nutritional quality of charitable meals for homeless and vulnerable adults. A case study of food provision by a food aid organisation in the UK. Appetite, 82, 131-137.

Cook, T.M., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2014). Dietary advice for muscularity, leanness and weight control in Men's Health magazine: A content analysis. BMC Public Health, 14 (1).

Lynn, A., Mathew, S., Russell, J., Robinson, E., Soumpasi, V., & Barker, M. (2014). Effect of a tart cherry juice supplement on arterial stiffness and inflammation in healthy adults: a randomised controlled trial. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 69 (2), 122-127.

Sprake, E.F., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2014). Food choice and nutrient intake amongst homeless people. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 27 (3), 242-250.

Barker, M.E., Mcneir, K., Sameer, S., & Russell, J. (2014). Food, nutrition and slimming messages in British women's magazines, 1950-1998. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 27 (SUPPL2), 124-134.

Barker, M.E., & Burridge, J.D. (2014). Nutrition claims in British women's magazines from 1940 to 1955. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 27 (SUPPL2), 117-123.

Harden, C.J., Dible, V.A., Russell, J.M., Garaiova, I., Plummer, S.F., Barker, M.E., & Corfe, B.M. (2014). Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation had no effect on body weight but reduced energy intake in overweight and obese women. Nutrition Research, 34 (1), 17-24.

Spencer, R.J., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2013). Temporality in British young women's magazines: Food, cooking and weight loss. Public Health Nutrition, 17 (10), 2359-2367.

Benefer, M.D., Corfe, B.M., Russell, J.M., Short, R., & Barker, M.E. (2013). Water intake and post-exercise cognitive performance: An observational study of long-distance walkers and runners. European Journal of Nutrition, 52 (2), 617-624.

Hill, M.H., Flatley, J.E., Barker, M.E., Garner, C.M., Manning, N.J., Olpin, S.E., ... Powers, H.J. (2013). A vitamin B-12 supplement of 500 μg/d for eight weeks does not normalize urinary methylmalonic acid or other biomarkers of vitamin B-12 status in elderly people with moderately poor vitamin B-12 status. Journal of Nutrition, 143 (2), 142-147.

Ensaff, H., Russell, J., & Barker, M.E. (2013). Meeting school food standards - Students' food choice and free school meals. Public Health Nutrition, 16 (12), 2162-2168.

Lynn, A., Hamadeh, H., Leung, W.C., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2012). Effects of Pomegranate Juice Supplementation on Pulse Wave Velocity and Blood Pressure in Healthy Young and Middle-aged Men and Women. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 67 (3), 309-314.

Harden, C.J., Jones, A.N., Maya-Jimenez, T., Barker, M.E., Hepburn, N.J., Garaiova, I., ... Corfe, B.M. (2012). Effect of different long-chain fatty acids on cholecystokinin release in vitro and energy intake in free-living healthy males. British Journal of Nutrition, 108 (4), 755-758.

Harden, C.J., Perez-Carrion, K., Babakordi, Z., Plummer, S.F., Hepburn, N., Barker, M.E., ... Corfe, B.M. (2012). Evaluation of the salivary proteome as a surrogate tissue for systems biology approaches to understanding appetite. Journal of Proteomics, 75 (10), 2916-2923.

Flatley, J.E., Garner, C.M., Al-Turki, M., Manning, N.J., Olpin, S.E., Barker, M.E., & Powers, H.J. (2012). Determinants of urinary methylmalonic acid concentration in an elderly population in the United Kingdom. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95 (3), 686-693.

Blumsohn, A., & Barker, M. (2009). Calcium, vitamin D and weight loss. British Journal of Nutrition, 102 (10), 1538.

Williams, E.A., Stimpson, J., Wang, D., Plummer, S., Garaiova, I., Barker, M.E., & Corfe, B.M. (2009). Clinical trial: A multistrain probiotic preparation significantly reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 29 (1), 97-103.

Lambert, H.L., Eastell, R., Karnik, K., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2008). Calcium supplementation and bone mineral accretion in adolescent girls: An 18-mo randomized controlled trial with 2-y follow-up. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87 (2), 455-462.

Gould, R., Russell, J., & Barker, M.E. (2006). School lunch menus and 11 to 12 year old children's food choice in three secondary schools in England - Are the nutritional standards being met? Appetite, 46 (1), 86-92.

Pearson, T., Russell, J., Campbell, M.J., & Barker, M.E. (2005). Do 'food deserts' influence fruit and vegetable consumption? - A cross-sectional study. Appetite, 45 (2), 195-197.

Barker, M.E., McCloskey, E., Saha, S., Gossiel, F., Charlesworth, D., Powers, H.J., & Blumsohn, A. (2005). Serum retinoids and β-carotene as predictors of hip and other fractures in elderly women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 20 (6), 913-920.

Clark, H.R., Barker, M.E., & Corfe, B.M. (2005). Nutritional strategies of mountain marathon competitors - An observational study. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 15 (2), 160-172.

Belderson, P., Harvey, I., Kimbell, R., O'Neill, J., Russell, J., & Barker, M.E. (2003). Does breakfast-club attendance affect schoolchildren's nutrient intake? A study of dietary intake at three schools. British Journal of Nutrition, 90 (6), 1003-1006.

Barker, M.E., Blumsohn, A., Shapses, S., & Heymsfield, S.B. (2002). Is weight loss in obese premenopausal women associated with a decline in bone mass? (multiple letters). Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 17 (4), 746-747.

Clark, P.J., Eastell, R., & Barker, M.E. (1999). Zinc supplementation and bone growth in pubertal girls. Lancet, 354 (9177), 485.

Barker, M.E., Tandy, M., & Stookey, J.D. (1999). How are consumers of low-fat and high-fat diets perceived by those with lower and higher fat intake? Appetite, 33 (3), 309-317.

Lerchl, A., Mawson, A.R., Barker, M.E., Stookey, J.D., & Gurwitz, D. (1998). Flight attendants, breast cancer, and melatonin (multiple letters) [5]. Lancet, 352 (9137), 1388-1390.

Cadogan, J., Blumsohn, A., Barker, M.E., & Eastell, R. (1998). A longitudinal study of bone gain in pubertal girls: Anthropometric and biochemical correlates. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 13 (10), 1602-1612.

New, S., Ferns, G., Starkey, B., Griffiths, I.D., Francis, R.M., Appleby, P., ... Bright, N. (1998). Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls. BMJ, 316 (7146), 1747.

Kenyon, P.M., & Barker, M.E. (1998). Attitudes towards meat-eating in vegetarian and non-vegetarian teenage girls in England - An ethnographic approach. Appetite, 30 (2), 185-198.

Whybro, A., Jagger, H., Barker, M., & Eastell, R. (1998). Phosphate supplementation in young men: Lack of effect on calcium homeostasis and bone turnover. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 52 (1), 29-33.

Barker, M.E., & Stookey, J.D. (1998). Flight attendants, breast cancer, and melatonin. Lancet, 352 (9137), 1389.

Cadogan, J., Eastell, R., Jones, N., & Barker, M.E. (1997). Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: Randomised, controlled intervention trial. British Medical Journal, 315 (7118), 1255-1260.

Stookey, J.D., Belderson, P.E., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (1997). Correspondence re: J. Shannon et al., Relationship of food groups and water intake to colon cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol., Biomarkers and Prev., 5: 495-502 [2]. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 6 (8), 657-658.

Barker, M.E., Thompson, K.A., & McClean, S.I. (1996). Do type as eat differently? A comparison of men and women. Appetite, 26 (3), 277-286.

Hopper, D., & Barker, M.E. (1995). Dietary advice, nutritional knowledge and attitudes towards nutrition in primary health care. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 8 (4), 279-286.

Barker, M.E. (1995). Attitudinal Dimensions of Food Choice and Nutrient Intake. British Journal of Nutrition, 74 (5), 649-659.

Barker, M., Cadogan, J., Jones, N., Eastell, R., Metz, J.A., Anderson, J.J.B., & Gullagher, P.N. (1994). Calcium, protein, and phosphorus intakes and bone density [1]. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 60 (3), 455-456.

Barker, M.E., McClean, S.I., Strain, J.J., & Thompson, K.A. (1992). Dietary behaviour and health in Northern Ireland: An exploration of biochemical and haematological associations. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 46 (2), 151-156.

Livingstone, M.B.E., Strain, J.J., Nevin, G.B., Barker, M.E., Hickey, R.J., Mckenna, P.G., ... Whitehead, R.G. (1991). Potential contribution of leisure activity to the energy expenditure patterns of sedentary populations. British Journal of Nutrition, 65 (2), 145-155.

Fehily, A.M., Barker, M.E., Thomson, M., Yarnell, J.W.G., Holliday, R.M., Thompson, K.A., ... Baker, I.A. (1990). The diets of men in four areas of the UK: the Caerphilly, Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and Speedwell studies. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 44 (11), 813-817.

Strain, J.J., Thompson, K.A., Barker, M.E., & McKenna, P.G. (1990). The effect of smoking on estimates of iron status and calculated body iron stores. Trace Elements in Medicine, 7 (1), 25-27.

Livingstone, M.B.E., Prentice, A.M., Strain, J.J., Coward, W.A., Black, A.E., Barker, M.E., ... Whitehead, R.G. (1990). Accuracy of weighed dietary records in studies of diet and health. British Medical Journal, 300 (6726), 708-712.

Strain, J.J., Carville, D.G.M., Thompson, K.A., & Barker, M.E. (1990). Iron sufficiency in the population of Northern Ireland: Estimates from blood measurements. British Journal of Nutrition, 64 (1), 219-224.

Livingstone, M.B.E., Prentice, A.M., Coward, W.A., Ceesay, S.M., Strain, J.J., McKenna, P.G., ... Hickey, R.J. (1990). Simultaneous measurement of free-living energy expenditure by the doubly labeled water method and heart-rate monitoring. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 52 (1), 59-65.

Barker, M.E., McClean, S.I., Thompson, K.A., & Reid, N.G. (1990). Dietary behaviours and sociocultural demographics in northern Ireland. British Journal of Nutrition, 64 (2), 319-329.

Barker, M.E., McKenna, P.G., Reid, N.G., Strain, J.J., Thompson, K.A., Williamson, A.P., & Wright, M.E. (1988). A comparison of the Petra food recording system with the conventional weighed inventory technique. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 1 (3), 179-186.

Conference papers

Lynn, A., Mathew, S., Moore, C.T., Russell, J., Robinson, E., Soumpasi, V., & Barker, M.E. (2013). Effect of tart cherry juice on arterial stiffness, inflammation and other risk markers for cardiovascular disease in healthy adults. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NUTRITION SOCIETY, 72 (OCE4), E286.

Harden, C.J., Jones, A.N., Maya-Jimenez, T., Barker, M.E., Hepburn, N.J., Garaiova, I., ... Corfe, B.M. (2011). Long chain fatty acids: in vitro cholecystokinin production and in vivo energy intake and body composition alteration. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NUTRITION SOCIETY, 70 (OCE3), E57.

Barker, M.E., & Blumsohn, A. (2003). Is vitamin A consumption a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 62 (4), 845-850.

Stookey, J.D., & Barker, M.E. (1995). The diets of low-income women: The role of culinary knowledge. Appetite, 24 (3), 286.

Strain, J.J., Barker, M.E., Livingstone, M.B., & McKenna, P.G. (1990). The Northern Ireland dietary survey and related studies. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 49 (2), 289-296.

Book chapters

Barker, M. (2017). Nutrition and the skeleton. In Geissler, C., & Powers, H.J. (Eds.) Human Nutrition. (13th). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Barker, M. (2010). Nutrition and the skeleton. In Geissler, C., & Powers, H.J. (Eds.) Human Nutrition. (12th). (pp. 473-491). Oxford: Elsevier Science

Barker, M. (2009). Food as a medium of emotional management of the family. In Jackson, P. (Ed.) Changing Families, Changing Food. (pp. 146-164). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan UK


Barker, M. (2014). Dietary patterns in university students: A sustainable and healthy pattern is prominent.

Barker, M. (2013). Preliminary meta-analysis of the effect of fish oil on body weight and body mass index in overweight and obese subjects does not support a link.

Sprake, E.F., Russell, J.M., & Barker, M.E. (2013). Food Choice And Nutrient Intake Amongst Homeless People.

Barker, M. (2012). The effect of different lipid emulsions on appetite and energy intake.

Barker, M. (2012). Meeting school food standards in the UK – students’ food choice & free school meals.

Barker, M. (2012). Hydration deficit after breakfast in British children.

Harden, C.J., Barker, M.E., Hepburn, N.J., Garaiova, I., Plummer, S.F., Evans, C., & Corfe, B.M. (2011). Preliminary evaluation of the salivary proteome as a source of novel biomarkers of appetite.

Harden, C.J., Dible, V., Barker, M.E., Hepburn, N.J., Garaiova, I., Plummer, S.F., & Corfe, B.M. (2011). The effect of supplementation with different oil emulsions on energy intake and body weight - the results of two different studies.

Barker, M. (2011). Vitamin B12 and folate status in patients with confirmed Alzheimer’s disease.

Barker, M. (2011). Pomegranate juice supplementation lowers blood pressure but does not influence pulse wave velocity or antioxidant status in healthy young and middle-aged men and women.

Other publications

Barker, M., & Morris, C. (2017). What type of milk is best? The answer is follow your tastebuds.

Other activities

External Responsibilities

  • 2008: Member of course approval panel for BSc in Human Nutrition, University of Worcester
  • 1998: Member of course approval and review panel for BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Coventry University


  • 1989: Registered Nutritionist, Association for Nutrition, United Kingdom

Competitve Research Award

  • 2013: An evaluation of an intervention to promote uptake of school meals, Sheffield Let's Change for Life, United Kingdom

Research funding or grant

  • 2016: Arguing about GM: An analysis of the use of science in the GM food debate in traditional and social media. PI, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 2015: A consumer survey of attitudes towards genetically modified food - Plant Production and Protection (P3), University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 2014: Improving environmental impact through sustainable food choice, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 2012: The value of 25 hydroxyvitamin D as a biomarker in obesity, Department of Health, United Kingdom
  • 2012: An evaluation of Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project, Jamie Oliver Foundation

Postgraduate supervision

Completed supervisions

  • PhD supervised to completion (8 students)

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