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Dr Lourdes Santos-Merx

Job: Senior Lecturer in Nutrition

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7157




Personal profile

I joined De Montfort University in 2018 and I am the Programme Leader for the BSc Nutrition. As a UK-registered nutritionist with a PhD in Psychology (University of Birmingham) I have developed a particular interest in nutritional psychology. My PhD and postdoctoral research (University of Minho, Portugal) focussed on normal and disordered eating behaviours. Having taught nutrition and eating behaviour in UK and other countries including Singapore, I am keen on teaching and researching the impact of health promotion strategies on eating habits and lifestyle. My research interests also include perception of food portion sizes; dietary intakes from different ethnicities and the influence of body image awareness on eating behaviour.

Research group affiliations

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research

Key research outputs

Brownlee IA, LowJ, Duriraju N, Chun M, Ong JXY, Tay ME, HendrieGA, Santos-Merx L (2019). Evaluation of the proximity of Singaporean children’s dietary habits to food-based dietary guidelines. Nutrients, 11(11), 2615.

Santos-Merx L, Firdaus S, Tay M, Brownlee IA (2017). Delaying breakfast: Impact on breakfast and subsequent meal quality among young Singaporeans. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(OCE4).

Santos-Merx L, Craven S (2014). Creating the forbidden fruit: the impact of healthy eating guidelines on eating behaviour and mood. In Pracana, C. (Ed.). InPact Proceedings, 220-222. Lisbon, Portugal: WIARS. ISBN (print): 978-989-97866-6-0

Pearson L, Santos-Merx L (2012). Nutritional analysis of school meals at Ruhanga developmental school in Uganda. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71(OCE2).

Santos MLS, Booth DA (1996). Influences on meat avoidance among British students. Appetite, 27, 197-205.

Research interests/expertise

Eating behaviour; weight management; eating disorders; nutritional interventions in the community

Areas of teaching

  • Nutrition
  • Public health nutrition
  • Weight management
  • Eating behaviour
  • Eating disorders


  • BSc (Hons) & MSc equivalent in Nutritional Sciences (University of Porto, Portugal)
  • PhD in Psychology (University of Birmingham)                                                                                 
  • PGCert Learning & Teaching (University of Leeds) 

Courses taught

  • BSc Nutrition
  • Medical Science (BMedSci)
  • MSc Physician Associate

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) by the UK Association for Nutrition
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the European Nutrition Leadership Platform Alumni Association

Professional licences and certificates

Registered Nutritionist certified by the UK Association for Nutrition

Conference attendance

Santos-Merx L, Samuelsson L. Body image perception and satisfaction among Indian women residing in UK and Singapore. In: British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Meeting, 16-17April 2019, Swansea

Santos-Merx L, Tan A, Tan S, Ravichandran L. Exploring food cravings in Singapore: The impact of ethnicity considering emotional and dietary restraint states. In: International Society Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity Annual Meeting. 3-6 June 2018, Hong Kong

Santos-Merx L, Morgandass K, Tan S. Men in Singapore: Differences in body dissatisfaction and attitudes towards disordered eating in the three main ethnicities. In: International Society Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity Annual Meeting. 3-6 June 2018, Hong Kong

Lee W, Chan MY, Poh WJ, Santos-Merx L, Gill-Dang S. Low Adherence to Healthy Eating among Singaporean University Students. In: Regional Symposium on Diabetes: Current Science and Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Prevention and Management. 2017, Singapore

Santos-Merx L, Dobby J. Sexual orientation and differences in body dissatisfaction and attitudes towards disordered eating. In: Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. July 2016, Porto, Portugal

Wain, SD, Santos-Merx, L (March, 2012). Effects of pro-anorexia and bulimia websites on young women’s self-esteem and eating behaviour. In: Eating Disorders International Conference. March 2012, London

Key articles information

[Add key research outputs information here] 

e.g ‘Outputs, e.g. selected publications’ produced since January 2008

Current research students

Kinga Kwiecien, MRes student, Second Supervisor

Internally funded research project information

Project title, funding source, type of project, Start date, end date, role in project, collaborators

Case studies

Examples of evidence of the ‘Impact’ of research e.g. references to reviews/articles in main stream media, examples of feedback from users, exhibition attendance figures