Dr Shawn McLaren

Shawn is the course leader for Human Nutrition (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) and a senior lecturer for Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the School of Human Sciences. 

Dr Shawn Mclaren

Shawn McLaren

Shawn studied dietetics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, graduating with a BSc and PG Dip in Dietetics. He completed an MSc in Dietetics by dissertation at Nelson Mandela University while working as a community dietitian for the Eastern Cape Department of Health. Shawn has also worked with NGOs in the rural Eastern Cape, providing outreach education in the field of maternal and child health. Shawn worked in the NHS as a community dietitian in south London, specialising in home enteral feeding, before joining London Met as a lecturer in dietetics and nutrition. Shawn completed his PhD in nutrition in 2023, supervised by Dr Dee Bhakta. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

  • The double burden of malnutrition in low and middle income countries
  • Anthropometric indicators of nutritional status

Shawn is the course leader for the Human Nutrition BSc.

Shawn's teaching interests include body composition and anthropometry, lifecycle nutrition, research and data analysis.


McLaren SW (2022). Nutrition and Global Health. London: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-119-77982-7

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  1. McLaren S, Steenkamp L, Ronaasen J (2023). Assessment of growth monitoring among children younger than five years at early childhood development (ECD) centres in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Health Care Science (accepted December 2023).
  2. McLaren S, Steenkamp L (2022). Coverage of vitamin A supplementation, deworming and immunisations: Associations with nutritional status among urban children younger than five years in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape. South African Journal of Child Health
  3. McLaren S (2021). The relationship between hemoglobin level and socio-economic indicators among women of childbearing age in South Africa: A secondary analysis of DHS data. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 61:1, 56-63
  4. McLaren S, Steenkamp L, McCarthy H. D, Rutishauser-Perera A (2020) Screening for overweight using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) among children younger than two years in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition. pp. 1-4. ISSN 1607-0658
  5. McLaren S, Arbuckle C (2020) Providing optimal nursing care for patients undergoing enteral feeding. Nursing standard, 35 (3). pp. 60-65. ISSN 2047-9018
  6. McLaren S, Steenkamp L, Feeley A, Nyarko J, Venter D (2018) Food insecurity, social welfare and low birth weight: implications for childhood malnutrition in an urban Eastern Cape Province township. South African Journal of Child Health, 12 (3). pp. 95-99. ISSN 1999-7671
  7. McLaren S, Steenkamp L, Venter D (2017) Use of Mid Upper-Arm Circumference (MUAC) as screening tool in an urban township in the Eastern Cape: rationale for testing changed cut-off values to identify malnutrition. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30 (4). pp. 118-119. ISSN 1607-0658

Conference proceedings

  1. Khanyile N, McLaren S, Faribrother U (2023). The association between housing structure and continued breastfeeding in two Southern African countries. Nutrition Society Summer Conference 2023.
  2. Bhakta D, Shoulders K, Ellison G, Aghili A, McLaren S, Fairbrother U, McLean G (2023). A health promotion survey conducted in a university setting during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase awareness for vitamin D supplementation. Nutrition Society Summer Conference 2023.
  3. Mahmood R, McLaren S (2022). A systematic review investigating the risk of COVID-19 severity and mortality associated with vitamin D sufficiency and deficiency within the adult population. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 81(OCE1): Winter Conference 2021
  4. McLaren S, Steenkamp L, McCarthy HD (2022). Design and validation of a double-burden mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tape for South African children aged six to 24 months. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 81(OCE1): Winter Conference 2021
  5. McLaren S (2020). The care environment and risk of complications among home enteral tube feeding patients. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 35 (Abstract and poster)

'British Dietetic Association: Elizabeth Washington Award 2023 (General Education Trust award). This award is given for a dietitian’s published educational work which is broadly within the scope of nutrition and dietetics.

Member of the board of trustees for the Caroline Walker Trust.

Shawn McLaren
Lecturer, School of Human Sciences
Email Shawn