Nutrition communication in the media

Project supervisor(s)

Professor Sarah McNaughton

Nutrition communication and miscommunication are identified as key emerging priorities for the discipline of nutrition science by the Australian Academy of Science and the American Society for Nutrition. Nutrition science is often criticised for the appearance of controversy and for causing public confusion. The overall purpose of this project is to examine the communication and miscommunication of nutrition science through the media lifecycle examining source, content and audience factors.

The specific research questions and research issues of interest for this project may include:

  • Understanding the use and misuse of nutrition science in the media, and coverage of nutrition stories in the media
  • Understanding the lifecycle of nutrition issues in the media and the dissemination and amplification across social media platforms.
  • To examine the consumer perspective of nutrition science reporting to understand how consumers interact with and use media sources of nutrition information and the factors influencing this.
  • To understand the role of potential gatekeepers in the nutrition information environment in terms of dissemination and miscommunication


Opportunities are currently available for domestic and international students currently residing in Australia. Applicants will have previous studies in a relevant discipline, such as nutrition and public health. Interested students must be eligible for enrolment in a PhD program at Deakin University and eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent. Applicants must meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information. We will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

Back to PhD opportunities