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Research Biography

Caring Futures Institute - Healthy Start to Life area of focus

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Brittany Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Flinders University, Caring Futures Institute, and a The Hospital Research Foundation Group Early-Mid Career Research Fellow. Britt's research aims to equip families with practical strategies to ensure children eat well, move more, and get enough sleep, to support health, development, and growth. She has expertise in applying behaviour change theory to understand current behaviours and how we can positively shift behaviours. Britt leads research programs in supporting children’s health behaviours in under 5-year-olds and building the evidence for school-provided meals in Australian schools. She obtained a PhD in Public Health (Flinders University) which identified intervention content to support parents to reduce provision of unhealthy foods to their young children, during the transition from preschool to school.


Britts current projects include leading TOPCHILD-Policy, which is the translation of the TOPCHILD Collaboration evidence synthesis into policy and practice settings, using an integrated knowledge translation approach. The TOPCHILD Collaboration ( is an international project that brings together researchers from over 20 countries to transform early childhood obesity prevention, by exploring past, ongoing and planned parent-focused behavioural interventions to understand how they work, and for whom.

Britt is the Stream 1 lead of the NHMRC EPOCH-Translate Centre for Research Excellence, Translating Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood (, which includes development of a Core Outcome Measures Set for early obesity prevention interventions.

Other projects include building the evidence for school-provided meals in Australia, and collaborating on project applying intervention coding methods (e.g., EDIT Collaboration).


Transforming Obesity Prevention for CHILDren (TOPCHILD) Collaboration

Brittany leads the deconstructing interventions component of the TOPCHILD Collaboration. The TOPCHILD Collaboration is bringing together researchers from around the world to transform the thinking and practices around early childhood obesity prevention. It will be a world-first to combine individual participant data meta-analysis, deconstructing interventions and predictive modelling to identify key effective components of very early obesity prevention interventions (i.e. starting <12 months of age). By unpacking past interventions, we will understand how they work, and for whom. From this project researchers will be able to use the effective components to design new interventions that are efficient, implementable, and scalable, and directly inform policy and practice.

To find out more visit: 

Research Interests

  • Children and families
  • Unhealthy food intake
  • Behaviour change
  • School food
  • Intervention design


Research Expertise

Brittany has expertise in systematic reviews, behaviour change theory, intervention design, secondary analyses of national data sets, structural equation modelling, discrete choice experiments and dietary modelling analyses. 


Prizes and Awards

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers (2021)

College of Nursing and Health Sciences Vice President & Executive Dean's Early Career Researcher Award (2021)

Best Higher Degree by Research Student Publication Award (2019)

Flinders University Research Student Travel Grant (2019)

Healthy Development Adelaide Research Travel Grant (2019)

Best Student Abstract (Children and Families Special Interest Group), ISBNPA Annual Meeting 2019 (2019)

Flinders University Research Scholarship (2018-19) 

Flinders University Top-up Scholarship (2018-19)

King and Amy O'Malley Trust Home Economics Postgraduate Scholarship (2017-19)

Australian Commonwealth Research Training Program Scholarship (2016-17)

The Co-op High Achiever Research Grant (2017)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, PhD in Public Health, Flinders University

Award Date: 6 Aug 2020

Bachelor, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University

Mar 2007Dec 2010

Award Date: 7 Apr 2011

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), University of South Australia

Jan 2014Dec 2015

External positions

Associate Editor, Public Health Nutrition, Cambridge University Press

15 Jun 2022 → …

Communications Committee member, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

2020 → …

Network of Early career researchers and Students of ISBNPA Committee Member, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

1 Dec 201830 Jun 2023


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Healthy start to life
  • Nutrition and dietetics

Supervisory Interests

  • Childhood nutrition
  • Public health nutrition
  • Behaviour change
  • Obesity prevention, children


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