Chris is an academic and chartered psychologist with an expertise in eating behaviour and public health. He is currently undertaking a Doctoral Prize Fellowship at Loughborough University; a highly-competitive personal award for early-career academics to establish their own ambitious research agenda, develop their skills as independent researchers, and position themselves as future research leaders.

Chris conducts mixed-methods research with the aim of reducing disease risk and improving public health by better understanding the psychological factors influencing people’s nutrition and eating behaviour. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with experience teaching and supervising students across all parts of multiple programmes, with an expertise in psychology and health. Chris also has expertise in equity, diversity and inclusion work in Higher Education with over six years’ experience delivering meaningful change for underrepresented communities.

Chris completed his PhD (2020) and MSc (2017) degrees at Loughborough University, and an undergraduate master’s degree (2012) at the University of St Andrews.

Chris’s research focuses on eating behaviour and public health. His research is interdisciplinary, engaging the fields of psychology, nutrition and physiology, and aims to reduce disease risk and improve public health by better understanding the psychological factors that influence people’s eating behaviour and nutrition.

More specifically, Chris’s research investigates how the context in which people eat influences their food choice, portion-size selection and energy intake, and how this knowledge can be leveraged to implement psychological or dietary interventions to improve health outcomes for different cohorts across the lifespan. Chris’s research engenders collaborations across different disciplines and institutions, both nationally and internationally. To date, collaborating institutions include Maastricht University (Netherlands), the University of Bristol, Aston University and Nottingham Trent University.

Chris is a member of the British Psychological Society, the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, the British Feeding and Drinking Group, the British Academy Early-Career Researcher Network, and the Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour at Loughborough University.

Chris engages with various external stakeholders to disseminate his research and deliver tangible impact. External stakeholders to date include Cambridge University Press and Assessment, the British Nutrition Foundation, the Prince’s Teaching Institute, Equality Action, Royal Air Forces Association, the Association of British Insurers, Everyone Active, and Loughborough Students’ Union. He has also worked with Loughborough University colleagues on various projects, such as the Veterans’ Resilience Programme, the Experts in Sport podcast, the development of the Elite Athlete Centre, the Widening Participation Scheme, and via various healthy-eating workshops delivered to different groups across the University.

Chris also co-founded the British Feeding and Drinking Group (BFDG) Early-Career Researcher Network in 2020 and chaired the organising committee for the 2022 BFDG conference. He is an advocate of Open Research and was a committee member of the Loughborough University Open Research Collective in 2021. He has presented at numerous international conferences and delivered invited talks at various universities and research groups.

Chris has been heavily involved in work promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in Higher Education. He is currently the Chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network at the University and the EDI lead for the Learning and Teaching Committee in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, as well as an invited member of the School’s Human Resources Advisory Group. His EDI work over the years has received recognition, such as through a Loughborough Experience Award (2018), an Outstanding Contribution Award from Loughborough Students’ Union (2020), an Extra-Mile Award from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (2022), a nomination for the Vice-Chancellor’s Award (2022) as well as being part of the LGBT+ team that won a National Societies Award (2017) for welfare and inclusivity work on the Loughborough University East Midlands campus.

Featured publications

  • McLeod, C. J., Haycraft, E. & Daley, A. J. (2022). Would offering vegetables to children for breakfast increase their total daily vegetable intake? Public Health Nutrition. 1-11. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980022002002
  • McLeod, C. J., James, L. J. & Witcomb, G. L. (2022). Portions selected to stave off hunger are reduced when food is presented in an ‘unusual’ food-to-mealtime context: an implication for implicit satiety drivers. Appetite, 178, 106275. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.106275
  • McLeod, C. J., Mycock, G. W., Twells, A., James, L. J., Brunstrom, J. M. & Witcomb, G. L. (2022). Current appetite influences relative differences in the expected satiety of foods for momentary, but not hypothetical, expected satiety assessments. Appetite, 178, 106159. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.106159
  • McLeod, C. J., James, L. J., Brunstrom, J. M., & Witcomb, G. L. (2020). The influence of expected satiety on portion size selection is reduced when food is presented in an ‘unusual’ meal context. Appetite, 147, 104550. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.104550
  • McLeod, C. J., James, L. J., & Witcomb, G. L. (2020). Eating rate and food intake are reduced when a food is presented in an ‘unusual’ meal context. Appetite, 104799. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104799
  • McLeod, C. J., James, L. J., & Witcomb, G. L. (2020). Food-to-mealtime associations influence food selection in a UK-based sample. Archives of Nutrition and Food Science, 1(1), 15-19. DOI: 10.46439/nutrition.1.004
  • Barutcu, A., Taylor, S. McLeod, C. J., Witcomb, G. L. & James, L. J. (2020). Planned aerobic exercise increases energy intake at the preceding meal. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 52(4), 968-975. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002199