Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Andrea Smith

Research interests

  • Risk factors for obesity
  • Heritability of behaviour 
  • Public Health

Current research 

  • Twin analysis using data from TEDS (Twins Early Development Study) and Gemini
  • Genetic and environmental aetiology of food and drink preferences
  • Taste preference modification


Andrea is a MRC-funded PhD student who joined the HBRC in September 2014. Her background is in Biomedical Science in which she completed a BSc at the University of Sussex in 2013. Before coming to UCL she graduated from the University of Cambridge in her MPhil in Public Health. Her previous research investigated the dose-response relation between physical activity and diabetes mellitus type 2. The focus of her PhD is to understand genetic and environmental contributions to food and drink preferences ad their relationship with weight. She will be using data from two population-based British twin cohorts (the Twins early Development Study; Gemini - Health and Development in Twins), using twin analyses to understand how genes and environment contribute to susceptibility to obesity risk. Andrea's PhD is supervised by Dr Clare Llewellyn, Dr Alison Fildes and Dr Lucy Cooke.




2013 BSc in Biomedical Science (First class honours), University of Sussex

2014 MPhil in Public Health (Distinction), University of Cambridge


  1. Smith AD, Herle M, Fildes A, Cooke L, Steinsbekk S, Llewellyn CH. Food fussiness and food neophobia share a common etiology in early childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2016. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12647
  2. Smith AD, Fildes A, Cooke L, Herle M, Shakeshaft N, Plomin R, Llewellyn CH. Genetic and environmental influences on food preferences in adolescence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 104, 2016, 446-453
  3. Smith AD, Crippa A, Woodcock J, Brage S. Physical activity and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. 2016. Diabetologia. 2016 vol: 59 (12) pp: 2527-2545.