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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Tarra Penney

Dr Tarra Penney

Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit & Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR)

Office Phone: 01223 330315 - Epidemiology

Subject groups/Research projects

Food and Health:

Research Interests

Tarra is a Research Associate with the Food Behaviours and Public Health Interventions programme led by Prof Martin White. She is supporting the system level evaluation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, a nation-wide policy to reduce sugar in soft drinks by targeting importers and manufacturers. This evaluation serves as the first study grounded in a ‘systems approach’ to evaluate whether, how and in whom the levy has an effect on health. Additionally, the evaluation will examine the process by which the tax came about, as well as a wider change in political, societal and industry attitudes.

Visit the study page for more information.

Tarra’s research interests are related to the development of a systematic approach to the use of complex theories of change for dietary public health interventions to prevent obesity, examining how a range of evidence is generated and integrated for evaluation, and exploring if this integration improves our understanding of how dietary public health interventions work or why they fail. She is also interested in finding unique ways to disseminate complex research findings with decision makers and the general public.


Visit Great Snackington 

- where healthy food can be hard to find. Great Snackington is a way for the whole family to explore the question of how where we live and work affects the food choices we make.

Developed by Dr Tarra Penney and Cambridge artist Aurora Cacciapuoti.

Tarra was interviewed for our 'Meet the Researcher' series. READ THE INTERVIEW HERE.

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