Dr Helen Walls

BSc MPH(Hons) PhD

Assistant Professor

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

0207 927 2606

I am particularly interested in the structural drivers of population health. Much of this work relates to the political economy of food systems and nutrition.

My background includes a MSc(Hons) from the University of Auckland and a PhD in epidemiology from Monash University. After working at the Australian National University I was awarded an NHMRC Sidney Sax Public Health Fellowship and began working in 2012 with the School. Since this time I have also been affiliated with the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).

Prior to my PhD studies, I worked in public health in New Zealand regionally and with the Ministry of Health. I have also worked with the World Health Organization (Geneva) on trade policy, diets and non-communicable disease.

I am an Associate Editor of the journal BMC Obesity. I am also an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne and a Research Associate at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


I am Module Organiser for PHM109 'Health Policy, Process and Power' on the distance learning MSc in Public Health. I also lecture on the module 'Globalisation and Health', am involved in developing the module 'Law and Global Health Policy' and supervise distance learning student projects for the MSc Global Health Policy.

I currently supervise PhD students, and welcome applications from current MSc students to supervise summer projects on food systems and policy and other areas related to my research interests.


I am currently involved in two programmes of work funded by the Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; UK Department for International Development).

One of these research projects, which I lead, examines the impact of Malawi's agricultural input subsidy programme on food choice and dietary diversity. This is in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Malawi and the School of Oriental & African Studies.

The second of these projects examines the use of financial incentive schemes to incentivise fruit and vegetables consumption in rural India. This is in collaboration with a range of research institutions in India.

I am also involved in work examining the use of evidence to inform health policy making, and trade in health services and migration.

Research Area
Health inequalities
Health policy
Public health
Evidence use
Global Health
Policy analysis
Disease and Health Conditions
Chronic disease
Non-communicable diseases

Selected Publications

What drives political commitment for nutrition? A review and framework synthesis to inform the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.
Baker, P. ; Hawkes, C. ; Wingrove, K. ; Demaio, A.R. ; Parkhurst, J. ; Thow, A.M. ; Walls, H. ;
BMJ Glob Health
Why we are still failing to measure the nutrition transition.
Walls, H.L. ; Johnston, D. ; Mazalale, J. ; Chirwa, E.W. ;
BMJ Glob Health
How much priority is given to nutrition and health in the EU Common Agricultural Policy?
Walls, H.L.; Cornelsen, L.; Lock, K.; Smith, R.D.
Food Policy
Improving regulatory capacity to manage risks associated with trade agreements.
Walls, H.L.; Smith, R.D.; Drahos, P.;
Global Health
Rethinking governance for trade and health.
Walls, H. ; Smith, R. ;
The road to 25×25: how can the five-target strategy reach its goal?
Pearce, N. ; Ebrahim, S. ; McKee, M. ; Lamptey, P. ; Barreto, M.L. ; Matheson, D. ; Walls, H. ; Foliaki, S. ; Miranda, J. ; Chimeddamba, O. ; Marcos, L.G. ; Haines, A. ; Vineis, P. ;
Lancet Glob Health
See all Dr Helen Walls's Publications