Obesity Action Scotland was established in 2015 to provide clinical leadership and independent advocacy on preventing and reducing overweight and obesity in Scotland. It is funded by a grant from the Scottish Government and hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on behalf of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties.

The main aims of the Unit are: 

  • To raise awareness and understanding of what drives obesity and the health problems associated with obesity and overweight with health practitioners, policy makers and the public
  • To evaluate current research and identify strategies to prevent obesity and overweight based on the best available evidence
  • To work with key organisations in Scotland, the rest of the UK and worldwide, to promote healthy weight and wellbeing

The Steering Group of Obesity Action Scotland has members across various disciplines involved in preventing and tackling obesity and its consequences e.g. clinicians, public health experts, epidemiologists, nutritionists and dieticians, GPs and weight management experts. There are four members of staff.

Steering Members

Dr Andrew Fraser

Chairperson. Director of Public Health Science, NHS Health Scotland

Andrew was Director of Public Health in NHS Highland from 1994-97, then Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the Health Department of the Scottish Office, then Scottish Executive from 1997-2003. He was responsible for advice on Public Health Policy, taking a particular interest in health protection matters, alcohol-related harm, public health laws and, increasingly, health inequalities and the health of marginalised groups. From 2003-2012, he worked in the Scottish Prison Service as Director of Health and Care, also advising the government and World Health Organisation on prison-related health matters, national drugs and alcohol policy. His focus is on ways to narrow health inequalities in Scotland, and creating the conditions for change in healthy eating and active living are key steps for Scotland's health.

Dr Peter Rice

Chair of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) Executive Committee in Scotland

He is one of Scotland's leading medical voices on alcohol and has played a key role in influencing the Scottish Government on the twin areas of alcohol services and effective alcohol policy. He was previously a Consultant Psychiatrist with NHS Tayside Alcohol Problems Service and in this role pioneered a service based on a population model. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Medical School, University of Dundee, is involved in a number of research projects as an advisor and co-applicant and has published in the BMJ and other journals.

Sheila Duffy MA, Cert.Ed, DipLIS, HonMFPH

Chief Executive, ASH Scotland (since Jan 2008)

Since 2004, Sheila has been Chair of the Scottish Coalition on Tobacco (SCOT) and represents ASH Scotland on the Government’s Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control. She also represents ASH Scotland on networks such as the Framework Convention Alliance and the Global Smoke-free Partnership. Prior to becoming Chief Executive she was Director of Information & Communications at ASH Scotland from 2003. In this role she was responsible for developing and communicating the evidence in favour of smoke-free public places in Scotland and influencing the development of the legislation that ended smoking in most enclosed public places. In 2013 Sheila was the recipient of the REHIS Annual Award for Meritorious Endeavours in Environmental Health, and in 2015 she was given honorary membership of the Faculty of Public Health. Strategically, ASH Scotland is working towards creating a generation free from tobacco, and tackling the inequalities that tobacco causes.

Dr Steve Graham

Chief Executive Officer at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Steve has more than 27 years of senior business, public sector and university leadership experience. He was previously the Executive Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, a £100 million capital and £50 million funding programme to transform the way the University undertakes collaborative research and development with business and industry.


Dr Colwyn Jones

Consultant in Dental Public Health and Head of the Evidence for Action Team, NHS Health Scotland

Dr Colwyn M Jones BDS (Edin), FDS RCPS, FDS RCSEng, DDPH, MSc (V.U. Manc), Cert.HSM (OU), DM (UHIP), FFPH
Consultant in Dental Public Health, & Head of the Evidence for Action Team, NHS Health Scotland.  Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Edinburgh and University of Dundee.
Associate Editor of the journal Community Dental Health.  He is also the dental adviser to the Falklands Island Government.    
Qualified from Edinburgh University as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1981 and worked as a clinician across the UK and in Denmark, completing postgraduate studies in Cardiff Dental School, Glasgow Dental School and Manchester Dental School. He is a Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group member, Vice President of the European Association of Dental Public Health and past president of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry.  He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.  He has published on a variety of dental and public health subjects but most recently has been looking at the social determinants of oral health and oral health inequalities, and the effectiveness of interventions to overcome them.

Professor Simon Capewell

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Liverpool

Simon trained in general, respiratory and cardiovascular medicine in Newcastle, Cardiff, and Oxford, then in public health in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  He was appointed as the first Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the University of Liverpool in 1999. Simon manages a research programme mainly involving cardiovascular disease (CVD) and food policy.  Funding thus far totalling over £20 million, with over three hundred peer-reviewed papers, many in top journals. Simon is President of the Society for Social Medicine, and Vice President (Policy) for the UK Faculty of Public Health. He is also a Trustee for the Faculty, for the UK Health Forum, and for Heart of Mersey, a large regional CVD primary prevention charity. He contributes to policy development and service work. He has recently chaired/participated in a dozen national /international policy and prevention committees, including Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (Obesity), British Heart Foundation (Prevention & Care), NICE (CVD prevention), UK Faculty of Public Health, European Society of Cardiology and WHO.

Dr David Blane

Academic GP in Glasgow. Works part-time GP in Maryhill Health Centre

Dr David Blane did his undergraduate medical training at the University of Dundee and his postgraduate training in Glasgow. His other qualifications include an intercalated BSc in International Health from University College London (2003) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Glasgow (2012).
He spent a year as NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Health Inequality Fellow, before joining the University of Glasgow in August 2011, as a clinical academic fellow in general practice. He has been involved in the Deep End project, which represents GPs working in the most socio-economically deprived practices in Scotland, and is RCGP West Scotland Faculty International Representative.
In 2013, David was awarded a CSO Clinical Academic Training Fellowship to undertake a 3-year PhD on "understanding the role of primary care in the management of co-morbid obesity: a mixed methods programme". 

Dr Emilia Crighton

Head of Health Services Section, Public Health Directorate, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dr Lynne Douglas

AHP Director, NHS Lothian

Dr Daphne Varveris

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Claire Prentice

Head of Safer and Greener Marketing, Scottish Government

Claire is currently Head of Safer and Greener Marketing at the Scottish Government where she is responsible for delivering award-winning national campaigns across a range of different policy areas including Road Safety, Justice, Community Safety and Climate Change. Claire has a marketing career spanning over 20 years, and prior to joining the Scottish Government she spent 8 years as Account Director at one of Scotland’s leading advertising agencies, The Union, delivering marketing campaigns across a range of FMCG and public sector brands including Highland Spring, Warburtons, Whyte and Mackay and VisitScotland.

Joyce Thompson

Dietetic Consultant in Public Health, NHS Tayside

Joyce Thompson is a Registered Dietitian with a Master in Public Health and is currently employed by NHS Tayside as a Dietetic Consultant in Public Health and her remit covers all nutrition across the life course from prevention to complex care.  Joyce has been involved in obesity prevention and management throughout her career.  In 1999 Joyce was jointly responsible for the establishment of the British Dietetic Association’s (BDA) Obesity Specialist Group and became the first chair.  She also chaired the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network’s (SIGN) guideline development group on ‘Management of Obesity 115 (2010)’ and currently chairs the BDA Scotland Board.

Ashley Goodfellow, RNutr (Public Health), MFPH

Public Health Specialist, NHS Lanarkshire

Ashley graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Human Nutrition from Queen Margaret University in 2000 and a Master of Public Health from the University of Glasgow in 2008. Ashley is a registered Public Health Specialist and Public Health Nutritionist, and has held positions across the NHS, local authority and third sector. Ashley works in NHS Lanarkshire’s Department of Public Health and has responsibility for maternal and child health and reducing inequalities. Ashley has a specific interest in improving preconception health using a whole-systems approach and plays a key role in the delivery of the Lanarkshire Healthy Weight Strategy and in particular, enabling healthy eating through healthier food environments.

Staff Members

Lorraine Tulloch

Programme Lead

Lorraine previously worked as an independent consultant on public health policy and her clients included Scottish Government, Architecture and Design Scotland and NHS Education Scotland. 

Lorraine provided interim management services across a number of policy areas in Scottish Government and has a wealth of experience in policy making and business management.  From 2007 to 2013 work for Scottish Government involved developing and leading the national public health initiative “Good Places Better Health” and contributing to the development of health inequalities policy.

An Environmental Health Officer by profession, her career has included working within various local and regional levels of government in enforcement, enabling and advisory roles around environment and health. This has included Regional Advisor to Scottish Natural Heritage, Senior Policy Officer on Air Quality at Greater London Authority and Team Leader for Pollution Control in Scotland's largest Local Authority (Glasgow City Council).

Email: lorraine.tulloch@obesityactionscotland.org
Tel: 0141 465 7260

Dr Anna Gryka-MacPhail

Policy Officer

Anna studied nutrition in Poland, England and Scotland.

Her PhD project involved a dietary intervention for obese people with type 2 diabetes. Post-doctoral work at the University of Aberdeen focused on vitamin D and cardiovascular health and she was involved in education and training in NHS Grampian working with researchers, research students, doctors, nurses and other clinical trial staff. She has also worked as a freelance nutritionist helping people to improve their diet, lose weight and prepare for sporting events.

Email: anna.gryka@obesityactionscotland.org
Tel: 0141 465 7252

Shruti Jain

Alliance Co-ordinator

Shruti has previously worked at a senior strategic level across a range of complex policy agendas as a civil servant. She has also led a number of place-based and settings-based initiatives in food and active travel with a number of national charities including the Soil Association and Living Streets.

Committed to tackling inequalities and improving lives, Shruti studied public health policy at the University of Edinburgh where she focused on obesity, undertaking a review to identify the most promising policy areas to tackle obesity in Scotland and to better understand their likely effectiveness, including the impact on different socio-economic groups. 

In her spare time, Shruti is chair of Saheliya a specialist charity that supports the mental health and well-being of black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls across Scotland. She loves to unwind by spending time in her garden growing vegetables.

Email: shruti.jain@rcpsg.ac.uk

Tel: 0141 221 6072

Christina Sabbagh

Policy and Communications Assistant

Tina studied Physiological Sciences at the University of Dundee and completed her masters (MMed Sci) in Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow.

During her masters degree, she specialised in Obesity and Weight Management. Her research project focused on the credibility of weight-management output delivered online by social media influencers, which was shared widely by the media globally. 

Whilst with us, she has also completed a 3-month secondment at ASH Scotland, with her work focusing mainly on e-cigarette advertising and marketing to young people.

Email: christina.sabbagh@obesityactionscotland.org
Tel: 0141 221 6072

Moira McLaughlin

Programme Administrator

Email: moira.mclaughlin@obesityactionscotland.org

Tel: 0141 221 6072

Fran Eatwell-Roberts

National Coordinator of Scotland's Early Adopter Programme

Email: Fran.Eatwell-Roberts@obesityactionscotland.org
Tel: 0141 221 6072