Alison Fildes

Alison Fildes


I am a University Academic Fellow interested in the development and modification of obesogenic health behaviours in early life. I completed my first degree in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh before joining University College London’s Health Behaviour Research Centre as a Research Assistant working on the newly established population-based twin birth cohort study, Gemini.

I undertook my PhD with Professor Jane Wardle at University College London, examining the aetiology of children’s food preferences. I have held post-doctoral positions both internationally and nationally in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (Australia), the Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences at Kings College London and the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London.

I am currently deputy director of the Gemini study, which aims to advance understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on appetite and growth.

I am honorary a Senior Research Associate at University College London and is a member of the NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit, Environment and behavior change team. I am interested in early childhood health behaviours, with a particular focus on food preferences and increasing children’s fruit an vegetable consumption. I have contributed to several randomised control trials targeting early life diet and obesity prevention. 


  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Studies (Admissions)

Research interests

My primary research interests are ‘obesogenic’ behaviours in childhood, including food preferences and appetite. I am particularly interested in how genes and the environment interact to promote excessive weight gain and am the deputy director of the Gemini Study, a large UK population-based twin birth cohort established to study genetic and environmental influences on early life growth (

I am involved in the NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit, as part of the Environment and Behavior Change team, working to develop effective language and visual resources for health professionals to use when interacting with parents of preschool children who have developed overweight (

I also contribute of two N8 projects exploring the measurement of food insecurity and it's relationship with SES and childhood obesity ( 

Professional memberships

  • Association for the study of Obesity
  • International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • European Association for the Study of Obesity
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