Dr Anvesha Mahendra

Dr Anvesha Mahendra


I am a Nutritionist and a Researcher in the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at the School of Food and Nutrition at the University of Leeds. I am passionate about Developmental Origins of Health and Disease research and its translation to impact policy and public education, to improve the health of women and children globally. ‘I strongly believe that investing in maternal nutrition can benefit many lifetimes’.

Currently, I work with Dr Michael Zulyniak as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Epidemiology in the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at the University of Leeds in projects within the areas of DOHaD.

I completed my PhD from the MRC LEC at the University of Southampton. In 2016, I was the first Indian in Nutrition to be awarded the ‘Faculty for the Future’ fellowship by the Schlumberger Foundation, to pursue a split site doctoral program at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre (MRC LEC), Southampton, U.K and CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore, India. During my doctoral research, I designed and set up a study of 800 pregnant women called the BAngalore Nutrition Gestational diabetes LifEstyle Study (BANGLES), first of its kind in India, to study the peri-conceptional diet of women in Urban and Rural Bangalore and their blood micronutrient levels as risk factors of gestational diabetes. A part of my doctoral research on Maternal vitamin D deficiency and GDM risk – a case for investing more attention in antenatal clinics, was selected among the top 3 spots to present at the UK Nutrition Society’s Summer Conference in July 2021.

In 2012, I was selected to train in Internation Nutrition Research Methods as part of the Bangalorer Boston Nutrrition Collaborative organised by the Harvard and Tufts Universities and St. Johns Research Institute.

In 2010, I was the first Indian to win the prestigious “Caroline Walker Trust Award” for writing a report addressed to the British Health Minister on the top five strategies/policies needed to be taken by the government to improve the nutritional health of the UK population.

I completed my post-graduation from Glasgow, UK (2010) and my under graduation at Mount Carmel College Bangalore in Nutrition, Chemistry and Zoology (2008).

I have more than a decade's experience of working in nutrition in research centres, university, hospitals, clinics, media, entrepreneurs, think tanks and NGOs. I have previously worked with the MRC LEC at the University of Southampton (UK) and Epidemiology Research Unit at the CSI Holdworth Memorial Hospital Cloudnine Hospitals, Antenatal clinics, Samarpan Health Centre, Bangalore and St Johns Research Institute in India.

Research interests

Nutritional epidemiology, DOHaD research, global maternal and child health, peri-conception nutrition and lifestyle, gestational diabetes, type 1 and 2 diabetes in pregnancy, public health and education


Mahendra A. (2010). A memorandum to the British public health minister in the Department of health outlining, the top five priorities for the new government to promote better nutritional health of the UK population. Available from: http://www.cwt.org.uk/pdfs/AnveshaMahendraEssay2010.pdf

Kuriyan R, Thomas T, Lokesh D, Sheth R N, Mahendra A, Joy R, Bhat S, Bhat S, Kurpad AV. (2011). Waist circumference and Waist for height percentiles in Urban South Indian Children aged 3- 16 years. Indian Paediatrics, Vol 48; 765 – 72.

Mahendra A and Fall CHD. (2021). Maternal vitamin D deficiency and GDM risk: Evidence for the case of investing more attention in antenatal clinics. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 1-7. doi:10.1017/S0029665121003840.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre, University of Southampton, UK
  • M.Med.Sc (Human Nutrition), University of Glasgow, UK
  • B.Sc (Nutrition & Dietetics, Chemistry & Zoology - triple majors), Mount Carmel Colllege, India

Professional memberships

  • The Nutrition Society, UK
  • The Nutrition Society of India
  • Indian Dietetic Association
  • WHO Bone and Joint Decade, India

Student education

I designed and carried out a teaching module on Nutritional Epidemiology to under and post graduate students at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore (May 2017 & Aug 2012).

Throughout my career, I have presented and given lectures in numerous forums (knowledge transfer forums, workshops, courses and public engagement groups) in the dissemination of importance of maternal and child nutrition and preventing diabetes to numerous stakeholders including health and medical professionals, hospital authorities, medical and city councils, food industries, media, non-governmental organisations, corporates, communities and the wider public.