AsPr Jane Dixon

BA (Soc Wk); MSW; PhD
Honorary Associate Professor
College of Health & Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Consumption And Everyday Life 200203
  • Social Change 160805
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Sociology 1608

Research interests


  • The public health impacts of food system transformations, with a focus on obesity
  • The supermarketisation of society
  • The cultural dimensions, especially the process of nutitionalisation, underpinning food systems change
  • The temporal dimension to culinary cultures, with a focus on labour market interactions with everyday life
  • Social protection policies as a determinant of food security


Associate Professor Jane Dixon has an honorary position with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Public Health. She had previously worked there as Fellow and Senior Fellow between April 2001 to November 2016. During 2016 and early 2017, she held a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at the Centre for Food Policy, City University of London. Her research continues to take place at the intersection of sociology and public health, with a focus on the cultural dynamics lying behind ways of living. She is particularly interested in how corporate strategy, government policy and civil society influence cultural transitions, and in the resulting social and health inequalities. This is currently the focus of her research as part of an Australian Research Council grant (see below), where she is examining the power of consumer-citizens in the era of supermarketisation. 

Her most recent books are a co-edited book dedicated to evolving understandings of the interactions between nature, society and public health, Health of People, Places and Planet: Reflections based on Tony McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding (ANU Press 2015); a co-edited textbook illustrating the many approaches to studying the cultural determinants of health risks, When Culture Impacts Health (Elsevier 2013); and a co-authored book on how different generations have experienced 5 major trends underlying changes to diet and physical activity, The Weight of Modernity (Springer 2012). She has authored and co-edited three earlier books. She is a co-editor of a special symposium for Agriculture & Human Values (vol 30, no 2, 2013): 'From Seedling to Supermarket': a collection of papers which resulted from an earlier ARC grant. She is on the editorial boards of Agriculture & Human Values and World Food Policy. She has been advising the International Union on Health Promotion and Education on their Food Security policy, and has been a technical advisor to the World Health Organisation.

Researcher's projects

2015-2018: Beaton-Wells, C., Merrett, D., Arup, C. Dixon, J. "Regulating Australia's retail grocery sector", ARC Discovery Project

2014-2016: Dixon, J., Strazdins, L., Banwell, C., Woodman, D., Burgess, J., Bittman. M. "Contemporary contestations over working time: should health weigh in?", ARC Discovery Project

2011-2014: Banwell, C., Strazdins, L., Dixon, J., Broom, D. et al. "What role do time, money and social position play in driving participation in a workplace health promotion program?" Preventive Health Research Grants Program

2009 -2014: Strazdins, L. Broom, D., Glover, J., Banwell, C., Dixon, J., Griffin, A. et al. “Time scarcity in Australian families. Another inequity?” ARC Linkage Grant

2009-2012: A. Capon + 16 CIs, including Dixon, J. "Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health", CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship Cluster

2006-2010: Lawrence, G., Burch, D. and Dixon, J. "From Seedling to Supermarket", ARC Discovery Project

2010- 2014: A. Sleigh + 7CIs + 9AIs, including J. Dixon "Thai health-risk transition: A national cohort study", NHMRC

2004-2009: D.Broom, J. Dixon, C. Banwell and C. Forth "The Weight of Modernity: Mitigating Obesity" ARC Discovery Project

2004: J. Dixon, C. Banwell, D. Broom, K. Douglas "Obesity prevention and monitoring in the ACT: a collaborative response", ACT Health and Medical Research Support Program

2003-2009: A. Sleigh + 10 CIs, including J. Dixon, "Thai health-risk transition: A national cohort study", Wellcome Trust and NHMRC


Current student projects

PhD Panel Member 2012-0ngoing: R. Kharis "Australian food policy for future generations: integrating public health goals and environmental goals"


PhD Panel Member 2019- Ongoing: J. Ramsden "The rise and influence of ‘sustainable ethical and heathy’ in modern Australian food culture: why alternative proteins are capturing the food cultural zeitgeist"


Past student projects

Panel Chair: S.J. Hinde "The Road Rules: a Bourdieuian analysis of the social reproduction of health inequalities and tansport practices in Melbourne", PhD 2008

Panel Member: R. J. Korda "Socio-economic inequalities in health care in Australia: difefrential impacts on mortality and ineqaulities in the use of services", PhD 2008.

Panel Chair: M. Williams "Cars and car crashes in the City of Angels: Bangkok's unhealthy collision with cultural capitalism", PhD 2009.

Panel Chair: A. Carroll "The Democratic Road to Health for All: the trade union movement as a public health actor", PhD 2012.

Panel Member: A. Davies "The Weight of Modernity and health citizenship", PhD 2012

Panel Chair: L. Hattersley "Supermarkets and health: A social ecology based approach to understanding the social dimension of the food supply", PhD 2013

Panel Chair: P. Baker "The emergence of political attention to obesity and factors generating support for policy intervention", PhD 2013

Panel Chair: F. Edwards "Gleaned, grown and gifted: the significance of social food economies in productive cities", PhD 2015

Panel Member: M. Kelly "Understanding the Thai health transition through changes in the local food environment", PhD 2015

PhD Panel member: H. Kinmonth "A comparison of the Measure-Up Campaign and the cigarette plain packaging initiative", PhD 2016

PhD Panel member: W. Takeda "A cross-national study of solo and commensal eating", PhD 2016

PhD Panel Member: K. Mann "Leisure time determinants of young adults in South-East Queensland", PhD 2016.

MPhil Chair: M. Young "The ethics of sustainable animal production: the case of the kangaroo", MPhil 2017.





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Updated:  01 November 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers