Deborah Lycett, RD

Dr, BSc (Hons), PGCHE, Dr

Accepting PhD Students


Personal profile


Dr Deborah Lycett is Reader in Nutrition, Dietetics and Spiritual Health, in the School of Health exploring whole person approaches to obesity and other nutrition related conditions which includes physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of care. She is on the Education Board of the British Dietetic Association and the Scientific Committee of the European Institute for Religion, Spirituality and Health. Deborah has over 20 years' clinical experience as a registered dietitian. She has worked for many years in the National Health Service (NHS) and also privately, running her own Nutrition and Dietetic Consultancy. She has a PhD in Behavioural Medicine.


Sometimes in providing specific clinical advice for one condition we fail to see the bigger picture of what this means for a person as a whole. My research has previously investigated multiple behaviour change, namely weight and glycaemic control during smoking cessation. Having seen similar behaviours in tobacco addiction and emotional eating my focus is currently exploring whole person approaches to obesity. Far from considering that obesity can be solved simply by addressing physical energy balance, we need to also consider the psychological and spiritual factors that drive eating. As a society I believe we need a more compassionate and non-judgemental approach towards obesity, viewing it as a chronic, relapsing, remitting condition, where our aim is to reduce the harms associated with it; rather than view it as a lack of self-control and seek weight loss at all costs. So far, very little attention has been given to the spiritual or religious causes and consequences of those struggling with food and weight issues, or how churches may be able to help those address these needs within the community, this is what I am working on. I am also interested more generally in the role of spiritual assessment within dietetic practice and how dietitians of the future can be trained to incorporate this into their care. I have several doctoral researchers working alongside me in these areas.

Area of Expertise:

  • Research methods
  • Religion, Spirituality and Health
  • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Behavioural Medicine
  • Psychology of Eating and Weight Control
  • Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain

Research Interests

Obesity; Spiritual Health; Emotional Eating; Religion and Health; Nutrition and Dietetics; Psychology of Eating and weight control

Education / Academic qualification


Postgraduate Certificate


External positions

Education Board Member, British Dietetic Association

Chair of Education Quality Standards Commitee, British Dietetic Association

Scientific Committee, European Conference of Religion, Spirituality and Health

Research collaborator, Medical University of Lublin

Research Collaborator, University of Bern

Research collaborator, University of Birmingham

Research Collaborator, University of Oxford

Research collaborator, University of Warwick

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2011 2017

3 Citations

A Feasibility Study of Taste & See: A Church Based Programme to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food

Patel, R., Lycett, D., Coufopoulos, A. & Turner, A. 18 Feb 2017 In : Religions. 8, 2, 29

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Association between health behaviours and religion in Austrian high school pupils: A cross-sectional survey

Gäbler, G., Lycett, D. & Hefti, R. 1 Oct 2017 In : Religions. 8, 10, 12 p., 210

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
High school
Chronic disease
2 Citations
Open Access

Understanding the role of patient and public involvement in renal dietetic research

Morris, A., Biggerstaff, D., Krishnan, N. & Lycett, D. 2017 In : Patient experience journal. 4, 2, p. 23-32 10 p., 5

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
measurement method
1 Citations

Capturing whole person care [editorial]

Morris, A., Biggerstaff, D. & Lycett, D. 2016 In : Journal of Renal Care. 42, 2, p. 71–72

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access
Evidence-Based Practice

Activities 2010 2016

British Dietetic Association (External organisation)

Lycett, D. (Member)
2016 → …

Activity: Membership of working group

European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health 2016

Lycett, D. (Speaker)
May 2016

Activity: Participation in conference

UKSBM Annual Scientific Meeting: ‘Biology, Behaviour & Environment’

Lycett, D. (Speaker)
2015 → …

Activity: Participation in conference

British Dietetic Association (External organisation)

Lycett, D. (Chair)
2015 → …

Activity: Membership of committee