Leah Salm

Leah Salm

Research Officer

Leah Salm is a Research Officer within the Health and Nutrition Cluster. Leah’s research centers around malnutrition, food systems, food equity and nutrition policy.

Leah works as an evidence synthesis specialist for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project Transform Nutrition West Africa which aims to generate and mobilize high quality evidence and build nutrition decision making capacity in the West Africa region.

Leah is also leading a mixed-methods study of childhood obesity in Brighton & Hove. A whole-systems perspective is being applied to understand the trends and enabling environment context.

Leah is also collaborating with the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) project, whereby she is considering the food and nutrition equity challenges for famers across Sub-Saharan Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to working at IDS, Leah worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC, where she contributed to The Lancet Double Burden of Malnutrition Series.




Poor diets are a primary cause of malnutrition and the leading cause of diseases worldwide. Improving diets, including increasing fruit and vegetable intake, could save one in five lives lost annually. Micronutrients and dietary fibre are essential for health; micronutrients from fruit and...



Healthy diets depend on equity and justice

This week it emerged that during 10 years of austerity, the height of UK children has fallen well behind global peers, with the average British boy and girl up to 5cm shorter than their European neighbours. Children’s height is used globally as a measure of health and wellbeing, and Britain...

30 June 2023


Turning the tide on obesity in the city of Brighton

The challenge of childhood obesity is defined as a ‘wicked’ problem, up there with the likes of climate change and biodiversity loss. What makes these issues so wicked? To start with there are many (often contested) ways of defining the issue and how it should be ‘solved’, there is no...

11 May 2023


Working Paper

Healthy Diets Depend on Equity and Justice: Understanding the Context in Brazil, South Africa, the UK, and Vietnam

IDS Working Paper 591

The purpose of this paper is to outline a new intellectual and research agenda for future work taken forward by the Food Equity Centre on the theme of Healthy Diets. We outline our initial conceptual approach and summarise current thinking and action on dietary equity through four country case...

Jane Battersby & 7 others

19 June 2023

Journal Article

Exploring the Drivers of Malnutrition in West Africa from Health and Social Science Perspectives: A Comparative Methodological Review

Methodological Innovations 14.3

West Africa has a high burden of malnutrition and the drivers are often complex, highly context-specific, and cut across individual, social, political and environmental domains. Public health research most often considers immediate individual health and diet drivers, at the expense of wider...

Leah Salm
Leah Salm & 3 others

15 October 2021