Dr Bai Li PhD, MSc, BA

Dr Bai Li

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
Public Health, Epidemiolgoy and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Bai Li works at the Institute of Applied Health Research within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and holds a personal research fellowship. For the last 8 years, her research work has focused on development and evaluation of complex interventions using mixed methods. She is interested in modifiable risk factors and prevention of obesity as well as other preventable non-communicable diseases in both developing and developed countries.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham
  • MSc in Marketing (Social marketing), University of Birmingham
  • Dual BA in Business Administration and Human Resource Management, University of Keele

Biography

Bai joined the Institute in 2009 to conduct her PhD research which used a mixed methods approach to develop a theoretically based intervention programme to prevent childhood obesity in China. Upon the completion of her PhD study, she initiated a non-conventional funding idea and led the process of gaining over half million Pounds research grant from China to fund the CHInese pRimary school children PhYsical activity and DietaRy behAviour chanGes InterventiON project (CHIRPY DRAGON), in order to test the feasibility, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the intervention programme developed during her PhD. This was believed to be the first and wholly-managed research fund that any British university has ever received from mainland China.

Bai’s current research activities mainly include leading the feasibility trial and the randomised controlled trial within the CHIRPY DRAGON project which involves over 60,000 children from 43 primary schools in China, training and managing a project team of over 40 staff, and maintaining partnerships with Chinese authorities and research/healthcare institutions. Her paper (jointly authored with Peymane Adab and KK Cheng) was selected  as the ‘Best Paper in the Review/Qualitative category’ published in IJBNPA in 2015 and Bai won the ‘Best Young Investigator Award’ presented by the Editor in Chief of the Lancet at the 2016 Lancet CAMS Health Summit for her research and presentations on childhood obesity prevention in China.

Bai has been interviewed by, and the CHIRPY DRAGON project and related publications have been featured on over 100 international newspapers and TV channels in the UK, US, China, Singapore, Australia and India, including: Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail, China Daily, CCTV News, CCTV America, China International Radio, Channel Asia News (Singapore), China News, Guangzhou Daily, Guangzhou TV, China Eastern Satellite TV etc. 

Read selected news articles about Dr Bai Li’s research on childhood obesity in China

Bai has been the Insitute’s Rep and a committee member for the College’s Postdoctoral community (PERCAT) since 2014. She helps with the planning, promotion and running of Masterclasses, annual Research Galas (involving partnership with several Universities in West midlands) and other career development events.

Outside academia, Bai is an artist and musician. She has won international gold/silver/bronze prizes for drawing, singing and music recital. She has exhibited her art work (some permanently) in over 9 countries including the UK, US, Japan, Russia, Norway, Mongolia and China (mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan).

Teaching

MBChB

  • Evidence Based Medicine and Research Methods
  • Study Designs in Healthcare
  • Clinical Epidemiology (Study Design)
  • Clinical Epidemiology (Systematic Reviews)
  • Integrated Problems: Clinical Communications
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Qualitative Research Methods

MPH Research dissertation supervision

BMedSc Clinical Sciences Research dissertation supervision

External Invited Lectures

  • Randomisation and Randomised Controlled Trials
  • Social Marketing and Application in Childhood Obesity Prevention

Postgraduate supervision

PhD: Cross-cultural comparisons of obesity prevention in children: UK, Spain and China.

MPH: Exploration of the similarities and differences in perceived causes of childhood obesity between parents and grandparents in China

Bai is interested in supervising doctoral research students in childhood obesity:

epidemiology, development and evaluation of prevention interventions.

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Bai on the contact deatils above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available 

Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   

Research

Bai’s primary research interest lies in development and evaluation of behavioural change interventions using mixed methods, modifiable risk factors and prevention of obesity as well as other preventable non-communicable diseases in both developing and developed countries. Previous and current research include:

  • Mixed methods to develop theoretically based obesity prevention programmes for children and their schools and main carers
  • Feasibility and randomised controlled trials of childhood obesity prevention programmes
  • Process evaluation of childhood obesity interventions
  • Economic evaluation of childhood obesity interventions
  • Qualitative studies
  • Systematic review of modifiable risk factors for obesity in Chinese children
  • Informal child care (e.g. role and grandparents) and childhood obesity
  • Impact of food marketing on child eating behaviours

Current research grants:

  • 2014 - 2018 CHInese pRimary school children PhYsical activity and DietaRy behAviour chanGes InterventiON (£700,625.9), Fund Raiser/Applicant and Fellowship Holder
  • 2013 -2015 Epidemiological study of childhood obesity correlates and control and prevention in Guangzhou city (£100,000), Co-Investigator
  • 2016 - 2019 Cross-cultural comparisons of obesity prevention in children: UK, Spain and China (£58,950), PhD studentship Co-Applicant/Co-Supervisor

Other activities

  • Reviewer for peer-reviewed journals for examples: International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, European Journal of Paediatrics, Nutrition and Food Sciences, BMC Public Health, BMJ Open, Journal of Child Health Care, Journal of International Medical Research, and Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • Institute representative for the College’s postdoctoral community (PERCAT) website link: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/mds/percat/index.aspx
  • Member of the World Obesity Federation, the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the UK’s Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)
  • Founder member of the International Social Marketing Association

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

2016 - Liu WJ., Lin R., Li B., Pallan M., Liu W., Cheng KK., Adab P., ‘Socioeconomic determinants of childhood obesity among primary school children in Guangzhou, China’, BMC Public Health, 16(482) (DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3171-1).

2016 - Wang J, Adab P, Liu WJ, Chen YJ, Li B, Lin R, Liu W, Cheng KK, Pallan M, ‘Prevalence of adiposity and its association with sleep duration, quality and timing among 9-to-12 years old children in China, Guangzhou’, Journal of Epidemiology.

2016 - Liu W, Lin R, Liu WJ, Guo ZS, Xiong LH, Li B, Cheng KK, Adab P, Pallan M, ‘Relationship between weight status and health-related quality of life in Chinese primary school children in Guangzhou: a cross-sectional study’, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.

2015 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., ‘The role of grandparents in childhood obesity in China - evidence from a mixed methods study’, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(91) (DOI:10.1186/s12966-015-0251-z).

Winner of the Best Qualitative/Review Paper, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in 2015.

2015 - Li B., ‘Moving The Field of Health Behaviour Research Forward with Genuine Application and Cross-Culture Assessment of Established Theoretical Models and Techniques’, Int J Translation Community Dis, Editorial,3(2e): 1-2.

2013 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., ‘Family and neighbourhood correlates of weight status and obesogenic behaviours among Chinese children’, International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 21(4): 700-709 (DOI: 10.1007/s12529-013-9333-y).

Published Conference Presentations

2016 - Li B., Lin R., Liu W., Chen JY., Liu WJ., Cheng KK., Pallan M., Adab P., Jones L., ‘Differences in perceived causes of childhood obesity between migrant and local communities in China: a qualitative study’, Abstracts of the 2nd Lancet CAMS Health Summit in Beijing, The Lancet, oral presentation.

Winner of the Best Young Investigator Award in 2016.

2016 - Li B., Liu WJ, Cheng KK., Pallan M., Hemming K., Frew M., Lin R., Liu W., Adab P, ‘Development of the CHIRPY DRAGON (CHInese pRimary school children PhYsical activity and DietaRy behAviour chanGes InterventiON) - a cluster randomised controlled trial of a theoretically based childhood obesity prevention programme in urban China’, Abstracts of the 2nd Lancet CAMS Health Summit in Beijing, The Lancet.

2015 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., Liu ZL., ‘Systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with childhood obesity in China, a population undergoing rapid social and economic transition’, Abstracts of the ASO UK Congress on Obesity, Appetite, 87:376 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.117).

2015 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., 'Are grandparents the key to childhood obesity prevention in China? Evidence from a mixed methods study', Abstracts of the ASO UK Congress on Obesity, Appetite, 87:375 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.116), oral presentation.

2014 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., ‘Stakeholder views on why childhood obesity is rising in China: a qualitative study’, Abstracts of the 12th International Congress on Obesity in Malaysia, Obesity Reviews, 15(S2):203 (DOI: 10.1111/obr.12152).

2014 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., ‘What and how childhood obesity prevention interventions should be delivered in China: a qualitative study’, Abstracts of the 12th International Congress on Obesity in Malaysia, Obesity Reviews, 15(S2): 237 (DOI: 10.1111/obr.12153).

2012 - Li B., Adab P., Cheng KK., ‘Family and neighbourhood environmental correlates of weight status and obesogenic behaviours among Chinese primary school children’, Abstracts of the 12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine in Budapest, International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 19(S1): 226 (DOI 10.1007/S12529-012-9247-0), oral presentation.