Dr Lucy Cooke is a Senior Research Psychologist in the Health Behaviour Research Centre of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. She is a member of the National Steering Group for Childhood Feeding Disorders and a Trustee of the charity the First Steps Nutrition Trust. After acquiring a first class degree in Psychology at UCL, Lucy went on to complete a Master’s degree in Health Psychology and was awarded a PhD for research into children’s eating habits in 2006.
Her research area is the development and modification of young children’s eating habits. She has led a number of projects within the Research Centre including the ‘Poppets’ study, which aimed to characterise aspects of family food environments associated with healthier and less healthy dietary patterns in preschool children using a survey methodology. The second phase of this project involved the testing of a habit theory-based intervention to reduce children’s unhealthy drinking and snacking behaviours and to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Lucy was principal investigator on a NPRI/MRC funded project investigating the influence of incentives on children’s consumption of vegetables which inspired the development of the Tiny Tastes pack. She is also task leader for a randomised controlled trial of a weaning intervention – part of the EU FP7 HabEat project.
Since 2012, Dr Cooke has also been working with Weight Concern to develop evidence-based guidance in child feeding and related issues for health professionals and parents.