Academic staff profiles

  1. Academic staff profiles
  2. Dr Corinna Hawkes

Dr Corinna Hawkes

Honorary Research Fellow

Department of Sociology

Centre for Food Policy



Corinna has worked internationally for over 15 years analysing and promoting food system and food policy solutions for better nutrition, healthier eating and improved public health. She has been active in research, advocacy, and in advising governments and international agencies. Corinna has worked at the World Health Organization, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the School of Public Health at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and World Cancer Research Fund International. At IFPRI between 2004 and 2007 she led a global research program on diet change and food policy and helped establish the agriculture and health program of the CGIAR. As Head of Policy and Public Affairs at World Cancer Research Fund International between 2012 and 2015, she established the NOURISHING Framework and directed a programme encouraging governments to adopt policies to promote healthier eating to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.

Corinna serves as a senior adviser at the Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research into Agriculture and Health, London. She regularly advises international agencies and national governments and makes presentations to policy makers and government officials at international conferences and events. She also has experience of working at the community level on local food systems while a resident of New York City between 1999 and 2003.

Corinna sits on a number of expert panels and advisory committees. She is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems and was recently appointed to the monitoring working group of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. She is on the scientific and technical advisory committee of the World Obesity Federation and on the Independent Panel of Experts for IMMANA - Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions. She was Chair and Co-chair respectively of the World Health Organization’s Ad-Hoc Expert Group on the Marketing of Foods and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children (2009) and the Pan American Health Organization’s Expert Consultation on Marketing of Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children in the Americas (2011).

Research interests

Corinna’s research interests focuses on in linking broader food system issues with diet and nutrition, such as through globalisation, agricultural policy and trade. Her work also analyses the effects of food policy actions to encourage healthier eating. A strong advocate of food systems approaches, she is interested in how the whole food supply chain can be levered for change through policy. She also has expertise in inter-sectoral approaches to policy development, particular between the agricultural and health sectors. With a global scope, her work has aimed at promoting cross-learning between countries and identifying effective, innovative solutions to poor diets. Her most recent work has focused on policy coherence for healthier eating across the food system. Corinna’s research has been published as academic papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and in policy briefs and reports by think tanks and international agencies. Corinna’s disciplinary background is in ecology and geography, receiving a PhD from Kings College, University of London, in 1998.

Selected publications

  • Hawkes C, Smith TG, Jewell J, Wardle J, Hammond RA, Friel S, Thow AM, Kain J. Smart food policies for obesity prevention. Lancet. 2015 Feb 18. pii: S0140-6736(14)61745-1.
  • Hawkes C, Ahern AL, Jebb SA. A stakeholder analysis of the perceived outcomes of developing and implementing England's obesity strategy 2008-2011. BMC Public Health. 2014 May 10;14:441. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-441.
  • Hawkes C, Thow AM, Downs S, Ling AL, Ghosh-Jerath S, Snowdon W, Morgan E, Thiam I, Jewell J. Identifying effective food systems solutions for nutrition and non-communicable diseases: examples from the fats supply chain. SCN News No 40, 2013: 39-47 Special Issue on Changing Food Systems for Better Nutrition. 2013.
  • Hawkes C, Jewell J, Allen K. A food policy package for healthy diets and the prevention of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases: the NOURISHING framework. Obes Rev. 2013 Nov;14 Suppl 2:159-68.
  • Hawkes C. Food policies for healthy populations and healthy economies. BMJ. 2012 May 15;344:e2801
  • Hawkes C and Lobstein T (2011). Regulating the commercial promotion of food to children: a survey of actions worldwide. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 6, 2, 83-94
  • Hawkes C, Ruel M (2010). Value Chains for Nutrition. Washington DC: IFPRI.
  • Hawkes C, Blouin C, Henson S, Drager N, Dubé L, eds (2010). Trade, Food, Diet and Health: Perspectives and Policy Options. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell
  • Hawkes C (2008). Dietary implications of supermarket development: a global perspective. Development Policy Review, 26, 6, 657-692
  • Hawkes C (2006). Uneven dietary development: linking the policies and processes of globalization with the nutrition transition, obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. Globalization and Health, 2, 4