Celebrating the next generation of researchers

  • 30 May 2022

The editor of the Nutrition Reviews journal has selected an article written by Mengxuan Zou (known as Zoe Zou) to be the Editor’s Choice article of their June issue.

The article entitled: The association between later eating rhythm and adiposity in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis looks at the relationship between eating later in the day and obesity in children and adolescents.

Our rising star is in the final year of her PhD at the University of Bristol. She is based at the National Institute for Health and Care Research Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Bristol BRC) and is carrying out research within the BRC’s Nutrition Theme.

Mengxuan Zou said:

“I was very happy when my work was recognised by Nutrition Reviews.

“It’s always great to hear that other people value what you are doing, especially when it is something you are passionate about.

“I found myself questioning the accuracy of the phrase “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. I was curious about the importance of eating behaviours at night and their relationship with childhood obesity and I am so glad I got the chance to investigate this topic.

“Being in the final year of your PhD and starting out on a career in research isn’t easy but being recognised by a journal in this way makes the experience a bit sweeter.”

Before deciding to pursue her PhD, Mengxuan completed her MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Public Health at the University of Bristol. Her current work focuses on investigating the link between later eating rhythm (eating later in the day) and childhood obesity.

She is interested mainly in public health nutrition which she studies using various research methods and statistical analysis.

The project that caught the editor’s eye reviewed the results of studies that had previously been published. These studies tried to find out if obesity was related to the amount of food children were eating later in the day, how often they were eating and at what times.

Mengxuan and her team found that, although there was some suggestion of a connection with obesity, more high-quality research was needed to investigate further.

Dr Sam Leary, Mengxuan’s primary supervisor said:

“This was an interesting project to be involved in and I am very pleased that Mengxuan’s work has been recognised by the editor of a prestigious journal.

“It is important for us to support the next generation of researchers; hopefully this success will inspire Mengxuan to carry on with her work for many years to come.”


The association between later eating rhythm and adiposity in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Mengxuan Zou, Kate Northstone, Rachel Perry, Laura Johnson, Sam Leary
Published in the journal Nutrition Reviews