PhD W.E. Waterlander publications


Publications PhD W.E. Waterlander

Other Academic Staff
Main activities
Public Health
Focus of research

My research focuses on public health, in particular on the prevention of obesity and non-communicable disease (NCD's),  where I  apply a systems lens by studying micro-, meso- and macro-systems.

  My PhD was on the feasibility and effectiveness of food pricing strategies on food purchasing behaviour (e.g., the effectiveness of a sugar tax, fruit and vegetable, subsidy, etc.). I conducted several randomized controlled trials testing different food pricing strategies, both in real Dutch supermarkets and in a 3-D Virtual Supermarket that I developed during my PhD. After completing my PhD, I worked for 6 years as a researcher at the University of Auckland (NZ), where I applied a whole-of-food systems approach to public health nutrition research. I did this, for example, by linking public health nutrition and climate change and by studying food value chains to identify intervention opportunities for public health. I believe that it is crucial for public health researchers to gain a good understanding of the food system (how does it operate) to be able to find ways to improve it and make it healthier.

  At the AMC, I work in the department of Public Health as a postdoc and senior project-coordinator of the LIKE (Lifestyle Innovations based on youths’ Knowledge and Experience) project (lead by Prof Karien Stronks). LIKE aims to develop an innovative, accessible and sustainable approach to promote healthy habits in 10-14 years olds in multi-ethnic lower SE-groups in the Netherlands (specifically Amsterdam-East). More specifically, we will develop, implement and evaluate innovative interventions at the level of family, school, neighbourhood and city, as an integrated programme, based upon a detailed insight into the characteristics of the population at stake. Scientific innovation of strategies will go hand in hand with their implementation, evaluation and dissemination. To achieve this, children and key stakeholders will, as co-creators, actively participate in the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of these interventions. To achieve this, we will use a combination of methods including Participatory Action Research (PAR); Complex Systems Science; and Intervention Mapping. My role is to develop the evaluation framework for LIKE and to co-ordinate the LIKE research consortium.




  • Waterlander Willemina WE Are Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels the Silver Bullet for Achieving Healthier Population Diets? American journal of public health 2019;109 (8):1067-1068 [PubMed]
  • Gerritsen Sarah, Renker-Darby Ana, Harré Sophia, Rees David, Raroa Debbie A, Eickstaedt Michele, Sushil Zaynel, Allan Kerry, Bartos Ann E, Waterlander Willemina E., Swinburn Boyd Improving low fruit and vegetable intake in children: Findings from a system dynamics, community group model building study PLoS ONE 2019;14 (8):e0221107 [PubMed]
  • Gerritsen Sarah, Harré Sophia, Swinburn Boyd, Rees David, Renker-Darby Ana, Bartos Ann E., Waterlander Willemina Systemic barriers and equitable interventions to improve vegetable and fruit intake in children: Interviews with national food system actors International journal of environmental research and public health 2019;16 (8) [PubMed]
  • Waterlander Willemina WE, Jiang Yannan, Nghiem Nhung, Eyles Helen, Wilson Nick, Cleghorn Christine, Genç Murat, Swinburn Boyd, Mhurchu Cliona Ni, Blakely Tony The effect of food price changes on consumer purchases: a randomised experiment The Lancet. Public health 2019;4 (8):e394-e405 [PubMed]
  • Swinburn Boyd A, Kraak Vivica I, Allender Steven, Atkins Vincent J, Baker Phillip I, Bogard Jessica R, Brinsden Hannah, Calvillo Alejandro, De Schutter Olivier, Devarajan Raji, Ezzati Majid, Friel Sharon, Goenka Shifalika, Hammond Ross A, Hastings Gerard, Hawkes Corinna, Herrero Mario, Hovmand Peter S, Howden Mark, Jaacks Lindsay M, Kapetanaki Ariadne B, Kasman Matt, Kuhnlein Harriet V, Kumanyika Shiriki K, Larijani Bagher, Lobstein Tim, Long Michael W, Matsudo Victor K R, Mills Susanna D H, Morgan Gareth, Morshed Alexandra, Nece Patricia M, Pan An, Patterson David W, Sacks Gary, Shekar Meera, Simmons Geoff L, Smit Warren, Tootee Ali, Vandevijvere Stefanie, Waterlander Wilma E, Wolfenden Luke, Dietz William H The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report Lancet 2019;393 (10173):791-846 [PubMed]


  • Stronks Karien, Harting Janneke, Waterlander Wilma , Kunst Anton E. Hoe kan een huisarts 'de omgeving' een plaats geven in de begeleiding van patiënten naar gezond leven? Bijblijven 2018;34 (5):336-344
  • Lakerveld Jeroen, Mackenbach Joreintje D., de Boer Femke, Brandhorst Boris, Broerse Jacqueline E. W., de Bruijn Gert-Jan, Feunekes Gerda, Gillebaart Marleen, Harbers Marjolein, Hoenink Jody, Klein Michel, Mensink Frederike, Middel C. dric, de Ridder Denise T. D., Rutters Femke, Sluijs Ivonne, van der Schouw Yvonne T., Schuitmaker Tjerk Jan, te Velde Saskia J., Velema Elizabeth, Waterlander Wilma, Brug Johannes, Beulens Joline W. J. Improving cardiometabolic health through nudging dietary behaviours and physical activity in low SES adults: Design of the Supreme Nudge project BMC public health 2018;18 (1) [PubMed]