Dr Duane Mellor is a double award winning registered dietitian and science communicator. They are the Aston Medical School lead for Nutrition and Evidence Based Medicine. Having a background in clinical dietetics supporting people living with diabetes they moved into medical education when joining Aston University as well as being the Associate Dean for Public Engagement in the College of Health and Life Sciences. In this role they works to support high quality science and health communication alongside the wider engagement of communities in designing and developing healthcare programmes.
Duane has a keen interest in helping the people understand the science behind health related claims, so they can make more informed decisions about their own wellbeing. They are experienced in discussing a wide range of health topics across a range of media, from print through to television and radio.
Industry Expertise (3)
Health and Wellness
Food and Beverages
Areas of Expertise (5)
BDA Spokesperson of the Year (professional)
Award from the UK professional association for nutrition recognising work with the media to communicate sound science relating to food and health.
Aston Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Civic or Public Evolvement (professional)
University award recognising science and health communication.
University of Hull: PhD, Diabetes and Endocrinology 2013
Investigating the Cardiovascular Benefits of Chocolate in Type 2 Diabetes
Bishop Grosseteste College: PGCE, Education 2005
University of Lincoln: PG Dip, Healthcare Practice 2004
University of Surrey: BSc, Nutrition and Dietetics 1997
- Member of Centre for Health and Society and Clinical Cluster Lead ARCHA
- Diabetes UK Nutrition Working Group
- British Dietetic Association Diabetes Special Interest Group committee
- Visitor (Dietetics) Health Care and Professions Council
- Associate Editor - Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
- Editorial Group - British Dietetic Association - Healthier You
- British Dietetic Association - Diabetes Specialist Interest Group
- Interprofessional Group and Nutrition Curriculum for Undergraduate Medical Training
Media Appearances (9)
Is inflammation the link between dementia, cancer and coronavirus? Doctors hope knowledge gained from tackling Covid-19 could revolutionise the way they treat chronic conditions
The Daily Mail online
Dr Duane Mellor, a senior lecturer at Aston University and expert on diabetes, says the epidemic of fatty liver disease in Britain is caused by excess energy from a poor, sugar-laden diet being stored as fat in the liver, and a lack of access to outdoor space for people to exercise.
Six raisons pour lesquelles les pommes de terre sont bonnes pour la santé
The Conversation online
Translation of English version by Conversation Canada 'L’humble' pomme de terre a une mauvaise réputation. Cet aliment de base bon marché autrefois présent dans le régime alimentaire de nombreux pays a été qualifié ces dernières années d’aliment 'malsain' à éviter.
Fast and processed food 'can cause damaging inflammation' in the human body
The Irish News online
Dietitian Duane Mellor says ‘ultra-processed food' can leave the body struggling to convert the extra calories into energy, generating high levels of free radicals, molecules thought to be involved in triggering inflammation.
Eating Chili Peppers Cuts Risk Of Death From Heart Attack And Stroke, Study Says
CBS Boston online
Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School in the UK, said the paper is “interesting” but “does not show a causal link” between chili consumption and health benefits.
Avoiding red or processed meat doesn't seem to give health benefits
New Scientist online
Duane Mellor, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, says people shouldn’t take the advice as a green light to eat more red meat. “What it doesn’t say is that we can tear up the guidelines and start eating twice as much meat. But red meat three times a week is not a problem.”
Reverse dieting: slowly increasing calories won’t prevent weight regain – but may have other benefits
The Conversation online
While there are many debates about which type of diet is best for weight loss and health, it’s often not the weight loss which is the biggest challenge, but rather avoiding weight regain afterwards. This can lead to cycles of dieting and weight gain, or “yo-yo” dieting, which can cause people to have a less healthy relationship with food, worse mental health and a higher body weight. But recently, “reverse dieting” has gained popularity online as a post-diet eating plan that claims it can help you avoid weight regain by eating more. In simple terms, it’s a controlled and gradual way of increasing from a low calorie weight-loss eating plan back to your more “normal” pre-diet way of eating.
Sugary drinks may raise bowel cancer risk, claims major US study
Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston University, said that while reducing sugary drink intake might lower the risk of bowel cancer, it may have little effect without also improving lifestyle and overall diet.
Just how healthy are vegan meals? As supermarkets cash in on Veganuary and the trend for plant-based foods, our expert guide
Daily Mail online
For many of us, January marks the annual Veganuary challenge, when we are encouraged to give up eating meat for a month for environmental and health reasons. While there is evidence that intensive meat and dairy farming contributes to the release of atmosphere-warming gases, research also suggests that cutting down on red meat and eating vitamin- and mineral-packed vegetables and plant-based foods can help reduce our risk of obesity and developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Around three million people tried Veganuary last year, and it’s estimated that more will follow suit in 2022. The number of Britons switching to a plant-based diet has nearly doubled in a decade. Supermarket shelves are now stocked with more ready-made vegan fare than ever before. But does being vegan automatically make these dishes healthy? Judith Keeling asked Duane Mellor, a dietitian and lead for nutrition at Aston Medical School, Birmingham, and dietitian Clare Thornton-Wood, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, to scrutinise a selection. We then tasted and rated them.
Do well-known hangover 'cures; work?
British Dietetic Association online
Dr Duane Mellor looks at some common myths about alcohol, and whether some of the well-known hangover 'cures' have any evidence behind them. Drinking alcohol is fun – the after-effects, less so. It is little wonder, then, that people the world over have sought remedies to mitigate the dreaded hangover. Here we put some of the better known myths to scientific scrutiny.
- Workshop Leader
- Author Appearance
A Review of the Potential Health Benefits of Low Alcohol and Alcohol-Free Beer: Effects of Ingredients and Craft Brewing Processes on Potentially Bioactive MetabolitesBeverages
Duane D Mellor, Bishoy Hanna-Khalil, Raymond Carson
Beer is a beverage of significant historical and cultural importance. Interest in the potential health effects of alcoholic beverages has largely focused on wine; however, there are a number of potentially beneficial bioactives that beer may contain that warrant further investigation. The challenge of considering any potential health benefits of beer are restricted by the negative consequences of its alcohol and energy content. There is potential to enhance the bioactive qualities of beer whilst reducing the alcohol and energy content through novel brewing approaches often used in craft brewing, in terms of ingredients, brewing methods and type of fermentation. Consumer demand to produce a greater variety of beer types, including alcohol-free beers, may also help to increase the number of beers which may have greater potential to improve health, with lower levels of alcohol, while still being tasty products. As low alcohol, prebiotic and bioactive containing beers are developed, it is important that their potential health benefits and risks are fully assessed.
The effects of Prickly Pear fruit and cladode (Opuntia spp.) consumption on blood lipids: A systematic reviewComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Caroline Gouws, Reza Mortazavi, Duane Mellor, Andrew Mc Kune, Nenad Naumovski
The current dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction include increased fruit and vegetable consumption. The Opuntia spp., Prickly Pear (PP) fruit is rich in dietary fiber and may have lipid-lowering effects but it is often confused with the PP stem/leaf (Cladode (CLD)), or not identified. The efficacy of the PP fruit and CLD in reducing CVD risk is a growing area of research.
The Effect of L-Theanine Incorporated in a Functional Food Product (Mango Sorbet) on Physiological Responses in Healthy Males: A Pilot Randomised Controlled TrialFoods
Jackson Williams, Andrew J McKune, Ekavi N Georgousopoulou, Jane Kellett, Nathan M D’Cunha, Domenico Sergi, Duane Mellor, Nenad Naumovski
Consumption of L-Theanine (L-THE) has been associated with a sensation of relaxation, as well as a reduction of stress. However, these physiological responses have yet to be elucidated in humans where L-THE is compared alongside food or as a functional ingredient within the food matrix. The aim of this study was to determine the physiological responses of a single intake of a potential functional food product (mango sorbet) containing L-THE (ms-L-THE; 200 mgw/w) in comparison to a flavour and colour-matched placebo (ms). Eighteen healthy male participants were recruited in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The participants were required to consume ms-L-THE or placebo and their blood pressure (BP) (systolic and diastolic), heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV) were monitored continuously over 90 minutes. Eleven males (age 27.7 ± 10.8 years) completed the study. Changes in area under the curve for systolic and diastolic blood pressure and HRV over the 90 minute observation period indicated no differences between the three conditions (all p > 0.05) or within individual groups (all p > 0.05). The values for heart rate were also not different in the placebo group (p = 0.996) and treatment group (p = 0.066), while there was a difference seen at the baseline (p = 0.003). Based on the findings of this study, L-THE incorporated in a food matrix (mango sorbet) demonstrated no reduction in BP or HR and showed no significant parasympathetic interaction as determined by HRV high-frequency band and low-frequency/high-frequency ratio. Further studies should be focussed towards the comparison of pure L-THE and incorporation within the food matrix to warrant recommendations of L-THE alongside food consumption.
Assessing the diet quality of individuals with rheumatic conditions: a cross-sectional studyRheumatology International
Thomas Carter, Nathan M. D’Cunha, Ekavi N. Georgousopoulou, Stephen Isbel, Rebecca Davey, Duane D. Mellor, Jane Kellett, Andrew J. McKune & Nenad Naumovski
Arthritis is a significant cause of chronic pain and disability, affecting around 3.5 million Australians. However, little is known regarding the overall diet quality of those living with arthritis. This study aimed to assess the dietary quality of Australians living in the Australian Capital Territory region with arthritis. This cross-sectional study analysed dietary intake data of individuals living with arthritis using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Dietary quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) to examine associations between diet composition, age, income and arthritis impact using the short form of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2-SF). Participants, predominantly female (82.6%), were grouped by age: 18–50 years (n = 32), 50–64 years (n = 31), and 65 + years (n = 23). Significant correlations were observed between age and HEI-2015 (rs = 0.337, p = 0.002) and income and AIMS2-SF (rs = − 0.353, p
Expert consensus on low-calorie sweeteners: facts, research gaps and suggested actionsNutrition Research Reviews
Margaret Ashwell, Sigrid Gibson, France Bellisle, Judith Buttriss, Adam Drewnowski, Marc Fantino, Alison M Gallagher, Kees de Graaf, Séverine Goscinny, Charlotte A Hardman, Hugo Laviada-Molina, Rebeca López-García, Berna Magnuson, Duane Mellor, Peter J Rogers, Ian Rowland, Wendy Russell, John L Sievenpiper, Carlo la Vecchia
A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
Our language has not always been right and this is how we are looking to change: Stigma and inequality in nutrition research reportingJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Duane D Mellor, Adrian Brown, Kathryn E Asher, Lauren Bell
irst, as a journal, we would like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone who has read an article in this journal and found the language stigmatising, or the data presented in a way that was not fully inclusive or equitable. Research creates challenges with language as there are historical inequities in the systems and languages of learned groups, and progress has often lagged behind socially acceptable standards of language used in other media forums. This is not an excuse, or a reason to assume we are immune to the moral obligation to be inclusive and equitable to all participants described in articles we publish. Therefore, as Editorial Board Members of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (JHND), we are working in line with the British Dietetic Association's (BDA) position to be inclusive and avoid stigma for all groups in society.