Dr Debra Hector

Senior Research Fellow
Public Health, School of Public Health

Telephone +61 2 9036 3197
Fax +61 2 9036 3148

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Biographical details

Debra gained her PhD in 1987 and worked in the UK, Papua New Guinea and Australia in applied biological and agricultural research, and as a lecturer, for over 15 years. Debra joined the NSW Centre for Public Health Nutrition in 2000 while completing her MPH and since 2010 has worked for the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Research Group (PANORG) which is part of the Prevention Research Collaboration at Sydney University.

Research interests

Debra has particular expertise in the synthesis and summary of research evidence to support policy and planning in the area of public health nutrition, especially in relation to breastfeeding and obesity.

Debra's work substantially informed development of the evidence-based NSW Health Breastfeeding Policy in 2006 and the recent update in 2011. Debra has contributed to national developments in breastfeeding monitoring and policy. Debra has also contributed to a large number of literature reviews on the effectiveness of nutrition-related interventions in the area of obesity-prevention. For example, she has produced review syntheses on the following topics: "Addressing overweight and obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples"; "Soft drinks, weight status and health"; as well as a number of topics (consumption of breakfast, fruit and vegetables, soft drinks, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods) in the "Building solutions for preventing childhood obesity" series. Most recently Debra co-authored an evidence summary on "Front of pack" labelling. Debra has ongoing interests in the areas of evidence-based policy and planning in public health nutrition and physical activity & health; monitoring of breastfeeding; evaluation tools and methods; and the food environment.

Selected grants

2012

  • Infant Feeding including Breastfeeding, and Early Childhood Food and Beverage Intake: Relationships with Early Childhood Caries and Obesity; Arora A, Bhole S, Curtis B, Hector D, Sivaneswaran S, Moody G; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

2008

  • Series of analyses to assess the relationship between dairy intake and general dietary intake and health risk factors; Gill T, Rangan A, Hector D, Flood V, Caterson I; Dairy Australia/Research and Development Grants.
  • Review and meta-analyses relating to dairy and the metabolic syndrome and dairy and overweight/obesity; Flood V, Gill T, Hector D, Rangan A, Caterson I; Dairy Australia/Research and Development Grants.

Selected publications

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Books

  • King, L., Hector, D., Webb, K. (2005). Promoting and supporting breastfeeding in NSW: Case studies. Sydney: NSW Health Department.

Journals

  • Watson, W., Kelly, B., Hector, D., Hughes, C., King, L., Crawford, J., Sergeant, J., Chapman, K. (2014). Can front-of-pack labelling schemes guide healthier food choices? Australian shoppers' responses to seven labelling formats. Appetite, 72, 90-97. [More Information]
  • Weber, D., Rissel, C., Hector, D., Wen, L. (2014). Supported playgroups as a setting for promoting physical activity of young children: Findings from a feasibility study in south-west Sydney, Australia. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50(4), 301-305. [More Information]
  • Hebden, L., Hector, D., Hardy, L., King, L. (2013). A fizzy environment: Availability and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among school students. Preventive Medicine, 56(6), 416-418. [More Information]
  • Hardy, L., King, L., Hector, D., Baur, L. (2013). Socio-cultural differences in Australian primary school children's weight and weight-related behaviours. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(8), 641-648. [More Information]
  • Nathan, N., Wolfenden, L., Bell, A., Wyse, R., Morgan, P., Butler, M., Sutherland, R., Milat, A., Hector, D., Wiggers, J. (2012). Effectiveness of a multi-strategy intervention in increasing the implementation of vegetable and fruit breaks by Australian primary schools: a non-randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Rissel, C., Laws, R., St George, A., Hector, D., Milat, A., Baur, L. (2012). Research to practice: application of an evidence-building framework to a childhood obesity prevention initiative in New South Wales. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 23(1), 16-24. [More Information]
  • Hardy, L., King, L., Hector, D., Lloyd, B. (2012). Weight status and weight-related behaviors of children commencing school. Preventive Medicine, 55(5), 433-437. [More Information]
  • Hector, D. (2011). Breastfeeding indicators for use in population surveys in Australia: have we reached consensus? Breastfeeding Review, 19(3), 5-11. [More Information]
  • Hector, D. (2011). Complexities and subtleties in the measurement and reporting of breastfeeding practices. International Breastfeeding Journal, 6(17), Article Number 5 - 1-Article Number 5 - 7. [More Information]
  • Louie, J., Flood, V., Hector, D., Rangan, A., Gill, T. (2011). Dairy consumption and overweight and obesity: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies. Obesity Reviews, 12(7), e582-e592. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Schindeler, S., Hector, D., Gill, T. (2009). Assessment of typical food portion sizes consumed among Australian adults. Nutrition and Dietetics, 66(4), 227-233. [More Information]
  • Louie, J., Flood, V., Rangan, A., Hector, D., Gill, T. (2008). A comparison of two nutrition signposting systems for use in Australia. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 19(7-8), 121-126. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Schindeler, S., Hector, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2008). Consumption of 'extra' foods by Australian adults: types, quantities and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2008(63(7)), 865-871. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., Hyde, A., Worgan, R., Macoun, E. (2008). Research evidence can successfully inform policy and practice: insights from the development of the NSW Health Breastfeeding Policy. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 19(7-8), 138-142. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Randall, D., Hector, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2007). Consumption of 'extra' foods by Australian children: types, quantities and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oublished online 14 March 2007(62 (3)), 356-364. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Hector, D., Randall, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2007). Monitoring consumption of 'extra' foods in the Australian diet: Comparing two sets of criteria for classifying foods as 'extras'. Nutrition and Dietetics, 64(4), 261-267.
  • Mihrshahi, S., Ampon, R., Webb, K., Almqvist, C., Kemp, A., Hector, D., Marks, G. (2007). The association between infant feeding practices and subsequent atopy among children with a family history of asthma. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. [More Information]
  • Webb, K., Lahti-Koski, M., Rutishauser, I., Hector, D., Knezevic, N., Gill, T., Peat, J., Leeder, S. (2006). Consumption of 'extra' foods (energy-dense, nutrient-poor) among children aged 16-24 months from western Sydney, Australia. Public Health Nutrition, 9(8), 1035. [More Information]
  • Allen, J., Hector, D. (2005). Benefits of breastfeeding. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 42-46. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., Webb, K., Lymer, S. (2005). Describing breastfeeding practices in New South Wales using data from the NSW Child Health Survey, 2001. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 47-51. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., King, L., Webb, K., Heywood, P. (2005). Factors affecting breastfeeding practices: applying a conceptual framework. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 52-55. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., King, L. (2005). Interventions to encourage and support breastfeeding. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(03-Apr), 56-61. [More Information]

2014

  • Watson, W., Kelly, B., Hector, D., Hughes, C., King, L., Crawford, J., Sergeant, J., Chapman, K. (2014). Can front-of-pack labelling schemes guide healthier food choices? Australian shoppers' responses to seven labelling formats. Appetite, 72, 90-97. [More Information]
  • Weber, D., Rissel, C., Hector, D., Wen, L. (2014). Supported playgroups as a setting for promoting physical activity of young children: Findings from a feasibility study in south-west Sydney, Australia. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50(4), 301-305. [More Information]

2013

  • Hebden, L., Hector, D., Hardy, L., King, L. (2013). A fizzy environment: Availability and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among school students. Preventive Medicine, 56(6), 416-418. [More Information]
  • Hardy, L., King, L., Hector, D., Baur, L. (2013). Socio-cultural differences in Australian primary school children's weight and weight-related behaviours. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(8), 641-648. [More Information]
  • Gill, T., Hector, D., Rissel, C., Trieu, K., Zhong, A., O'Hara, B., Bauman, A. (2013), Whole of government obesity prevention interventions: A Rapid Review. , , , 1-184.

2012

  • Nathan, N., Wolfenden, L., Bell, A., Wyse, R., Morgan, P., Butler, M., Sutherland, R., Milat, A., Hector, D., Wiggers, J. (2012). Effectiveness of a multi-strategy intervention in increasing the implementation of vegetable and fruit breaks by Australian primary schools: a non-randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Rissel, C., Laws, R., St George, A., Hector, D., Milat, A., Baur, L. (2012). Research to practice: application of an evidence-building framework to a childhood obesity prevention initiative in New South Wales. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 23(1), 16-24. [More Information]
  • Hardy, L., King, L., Hector, D., Lloyd, B. (2012). Weight status and weight-related behaviors of children commencing school. Preventive Medicine, 55(5), 433-437. [More Information]

2011

  • Hector, D. (2011). Breastfeeding indicators for use in population surveys in Australia: have we reached consensus? Breastfeeding Review, 19(3), 5-11. [More Information]
  • Hector, D. (2011). Complexities and subtleties in the measurement and reporting of breastfeeding practices. International Breastfeeding Journal, 6(17), Article Number 5 - 1-Article Number 5 - 7. [More Information]
  • Louie, J., Flood, V., Hector, D., Rangan, A., Gill, T. (2011). Dairy consumption and overweight and obesity: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies. Obesity Reviews, 12(7), e582-e592. [More Information]

2010

  • Gill, T., King, L., Bauman, A., Vita, P., Caterson, I., Colagiuri, S., Colagiuri, R., Hebden, L., Boylan, S., Hector, D., Khambalia, A., Dickinson, S., Gomez, M. (2010), A "state of the knowledge" assessment of comprehensive interventions that address the drivers of obesity. , , , 1-170.

2009

  • Rangan, A., Schindeler, S., Hector, D., Gill, T. (2009). Assessment of typical food portion sizes consumed among Australian adults. Nutrition and Dietetics, 66(4), 227-233. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., Rangan, A., Louie, J., Flood, V., Gill, T. (2009), Soft drinks, weight status and health: a review. , , , 1-54.
  • Rangan, A., Hector, D., Louie, J., Flood, V., Gill, T. (2009), Soft drinks, weight status and health: health professional update. , , , 1-23.

2008

  • Louie, J., Flood, V., Rangan, A., Hector, D., Gill, T. (2008). A comparison of two nutrition signposting systems for use in Australia. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 19(7-8), 121-126. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Schindeler, S., Hector, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2008). Consumption of 'extra' foods by Australian adults: types, quantities and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2008(63(7)), 865-871. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., Hyde, A., Worgan, R., Macoun, E. (2008). Research evidence can successfully inform policy and practice: insights from the development of the NSW Health Breastfeeding Policy. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 19(7-8), 138-142. [More Information]

2007

  • Rangan, A., Randall, D., Hector, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2007). Consumption of 'extra' foods by Australian children: types, quantities and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oublished online 14 March 2007(62 (3)), 356-364. [More Information]
  • Rangan, A., Hector, D., Randall, D., Gill, T., Webb, K. (2007). Monitoring consumption of 'extra' foods in the Australian diet: Comparing two sets of criteria for classifying foods as 'extras'. Nutrition and Dietetics, 64(4), 261-267.
  • Mihrshahi, S., Ampon, R., Webb, K., Almqvist, C., Kemp, A., Hector, D., Marks, G. (2007). The association between infant feeding practices and subsequent atopy among children with a family history of asthma. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. [More Information]

2006

  • Webb, K., Lahti-Koski, M., Rutishauser, I., Hector, D., Knezevic, N., Gill, T., Peat, J., Leeder, S. (2006). Consumption of 'extra' foods (energy-dense, nutrient-poor) among children aged 16-24 months from western Sydney, Australia. Public Health Nutrition, 9(8), 1035. [More Information]

2005

  • Allen, J., Hector, D. (2005). Benefits of breastfeeding. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 42-46. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., Webb, K., Lymer, S. (2005). Describing breastfeeding practices in New South Wales using data from the NSW Child Health Survey, 2001. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 47-51. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., King, L., Webb, K., Heywood, P. (2005). Factors affecting breastfeeding practices: applying a conceptual framework. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 52-55. [More Information]
  • Hector, D., King, L. (2005). Interventions to encourage and support breastfeeding. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(03-Apr), 56-61. [More Information]
  • King, L., Hector, D., Webb, K. (2005). Promoting and supporting breastfeeding in NSW: Case studies. Sydney: NSW Health Department.

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