Dr Ihab Tewfik

Dr Ihab Tewfik

Ihab is a Registered Nutritionist (UK) with significant expertise in planning, implementing and evaluating sustainable nutrition-sensitive intervention programmes at population level. 

Dr Tewfik has been the Programme Director of Human Nutrition (UG-degree) for twelve years. In addition to his PhD from London South Bank University, Ihab holds Master of Public Health (M.P.H) and Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.P.H) from Nutrition Department, University of Alexandria where he was promoted as Associated Professor in 2008.

Ihab has developed an independent research path that underpins the pivotal role of clinical nutrition to combat undernourishment among vulnerable populations in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs).

Our tailored nutrition interventions have improved clinical outcomes of undernourished populations and assured sustained optimum nutrition among: 

  • underweight/stunted school children in Ghana
  • cancer cachexic patients in India
  • People living with HIV (PLHIV) in Nigeria [to delay the progression of HIV to AIDS]. 

The ultimate strategy of these nutrition programmes was to develop and optimise tailored food recipes [TFRs] that are not limited to eliminate undernutrition (macronutrients) but extend to the design and engineering of food that transcends disease prevention by improving bioavailability of micronutrients, increasing biological functions and promoting sustainable health.

These TFRs draw from the growing evidence-based science linking diet to disease epidemiology and links it to ethnobotany, target population specific dietary requirements to optimise model meals that seek to attenuate/manage malnourishment among these populations. 


Impact of UoW research team in Ghana

Dr Tewfik employed the TFR concept to Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, University of Ghana Legon, [with Dr Jolene Nyako and Dr Gloria Folson] In Ghana. The nutrition intervention targeted to enhance the ‘Ghanaian schools feeding programme’ as channel to improve future generation. The three ‘S-Cool’ meals [based on the TFR concept] optimised variety of recipes in which we employed indigenous food processing methods to improve bioavailability of micronutrients from local agricultural produce without compromising palatability. The three nutrient-dense meals have significantly improved the nutrition status of undernourished/stunted school children in Ghana and is considered as viable alternative to ensure food security and qualified as the most sustainable strategy. The approximate total costs per meal per child per day= 5 pence [or 6 cents]. Each S-cool meal provides up to 40% of macronutrients Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of schoolchildren (aged 5-8yrs).


Impact of UoW research team in Nigeria

Our nutrition research group led by Dr Tewfik collaborated with Dr Abraham Amlogu at the State House Medical Centre Abuja - SHMCA [The Presidential Hospital], Nigeria. The team carried out HIV-randomised controlled trial, in which 400 HIV-infected adults consumed nutrient-dense meal (‘Amtewa’ meal formulated at UoW). This TFR was supplemented for 12 months to PLHIV while receiving standard medical treatments at SHMCA. The findings revealed that protracted consumption of ‘Amtewa’ meal with uninterrupted access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) sustained anthropometric, biochemical indices and significantly delayed the progression of HIV to AIDS. Moreover, this is considered an integral part of the local therapeutic nutrition framework. The approximate total costs per meal per patient per day=10 pence [or 13 cents]


Impact of UoW research team in India

Dr Tewfik applied the TFR concept within the Palliative Care Department at AIIMS-Hospital Delhi [One of the top Medical Colleges in India] through research collaboration established with Dr Neha Kapoor [Stanford University], Dr Sushma Bhatnagar [AIIMS, India]. The team optimised ‘iATTA meal’ which has significantly improved quality of life and stabilised body fat in cachexic female patients receiving comprehensive palliative treatment [Chemo/radio therapy]. The approximate total costs per meal per patient per day= 15 pence [or 19 cents].


The UN-SDGs associated to the above studies are SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 6, SDG 8, SDG 12 and SDG 17.


Global Impact

At University of Westminster, we are considered the pioneer who employed food-on-food fortifications (through the TFR concept) as we have proven its efficacy and effectiveness in three different contexts (Ghana, India and Nigeria). The impact of Dr Tewfik’s research and expertise in the School of Life Sciences is unique and would further strengthen our present external research collaboration with Harvard University (T.H.Chan School of Public Health, Boston). 


Dr Tewfik’s TFR concept provides empirical approach to combat chronic diseases related to undernourishment – an area where the United Nations (and its organisations WHO, WFP, FAO, UNICEF) is urging Governments to consider as part of their SDG targets. It is worth noting that implications of the gained findings of TFR meals can be easily translated to vulnerable population in different regions by following the principles to ensure overall consumers’ acceptability, appropriate clinical targets to assure sustainability.


Dr Tewfik was recognised for the continuous progress of the University of Westminster’s research agenda to promote public health nutrition intervention programmes in countries such as India, Georgia, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dr Tewfik received an appreciation award, consisting of a medal and a certificate, from the World Association for Sustainable Development - WASD in recognition of his “valuable and outstanding contribution” to the public health nutrition field at a global level.


Dr Tewfik research portfolio extends to include: 

The relationship between the obesogenic environment and health outcomes of individual and population. Ihab’s work embraces the effects of nutritional exposure during childhood and risk factors for later non-communicable diseases (NCDs) especially in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) experiencing economic and nutritional transition. Ihab has collaborated with the American University in Beirut (AUB) through a public health nutritional intervention which aimed to assess the effectiveness of public health nutrition intervention designed to enhance healthy eating and lifestyle modification among Lebanese Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOs). The intervention has significantly raised patients' nutritional awareness and enhanced their healthy lifestyle which was reflected by substantial weight reduction and resumption of their reproductive function.


As Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH), Ihab has been at the forefront of promoting Global public health intervention programmes and his research agenda expanded to 12 research projects with UNICEF-UN in aspects of public health nutrition intervention. Nationally, he has carried out three Food Standards Agency (FSA , UK) projects on food safety and one on Biomarkers for predicting breast radiotherapy induced side-effect funded by the National Cancer Research Institute – UK. Ihab has published extensively in international peer reviewed journals (+ 100 publications). Ihab has worked as international consultant to support capacity building for healthcare workforces in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) and has participated in training activities in Africa and Asia.  He is a regular invited speaker on several workshops, CPD and short-training courses and he is key team member to develop international public health education programmes to communicate relevant competencies. Between 1992 and 2010 he was instrumental in developing the public health nutrition programme at the University of Alexandria, where he fulfilled Associate Professorship at the department of Nutrition.



Ihab as Editor-in-Chief:

1.      Editor-in-Chief of the BNRC Springer Nature, UK [Since November 2022]

2.      Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Food, Nutrition and Public Health, WASD UK [Since 2008]



Research grants

   A.           52,000 (GBP) FSA-Grant (1999-2002): To refine, validate and carry out interlaboratory trials using a new Direct Solvent Extraction (DSE) method for the analysis of cyclobutanones in a range of lipid-containing irradiated foods.

    B.           62,000 (GBP) FSA-Grant (2001-2003): Feasibility study to assess development of methodology for the analysis of ammonium phosphatide (E442) in cocoa and Chocolate.

  C.           20,000 (GBP) Grant from National Cancer Research Institute – UK (2006-2008): Biomarkers for predicting breast radiotherapy induced side-effect. 

  D.           1,520 (GBP) Grant from The Wellcome Trust (July-August 2011) ‘Evaluating the effectiveness of moderate vs. vigorous physical activity levels on physiological and biochemical indices among healthy individuals: A pilot intervention’.

   E.           25,000 (GPB) Grant from The Emirates Foundation Funds (2010-2012) Childhood Obesity Prevention in Emirates (COPE): A Pilot school-based Intervention study.

   F.           60,630 (GBP) Grant from Social Science Research Unit of the UK Food Standards Agency ‘To conduct a study to identify proposals for alternative controls to E.coli 0157 amongst small food businesses’ (FS615017) (2014 – 2015). 

 G.           20,000 (GBP) Ministry of Health, UAE. Vitamin D status and determinants of deficiency among pregnant women- United Arab Emirates (2014-2015).

  H.         42,000 (GBP) Attitudinal Determinants of diet and lifestyle in women. http://www.womenattitude.org/the-attitude-study-team/

I.           20,000 (GBP) Monitoring physical activity/sedentary behaviour in overweight young adults with elevated blood pressure. Funding for the project has been granted from the University of Westminster’s allocation from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).  The GCRF is a fund that forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.  

J.          9,000 (GBP) Indigenous Intervention in Wolisso, Ethiopia project. Funding for the project has been granted from the University of Westminster’s allocation from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).  The GCRF is a fund that forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.  

PhD supervision/examination

Ihab has successfully supervised 16 PhDs to completion [between 2001-2023]. At present, Dr Tewfik is supervising 5 Active PhDs [ongoing research]. Dr Tewfik has been appointed as External Examiner to 15 PhD viva voce.

  • Community Health Resilience and Wellbeing
  • Centre for Resilience

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Nutrition Public Health and Sustainable Intervention Programme
Appreciation award from the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) at their 21st Annual International Sustainability Conference, November 2023

World Association for Sustainable Development