Dr Matthew Kelly

B Asian Studies (Thai), PhD (Population Health)


After completing a Bachelor of Asian Studies (majoring in Thai language) Matthew commenced work as a Research Assistant on the Thai Health-Risk Transition Project at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU. He worked in this role until 2015, while also completing his PhD. His PhD research addressed food environment, particularly food retailing, effects on nutrition and health in Thailand. In 2015 he began work on the DFAT funded project ‘Building capacity for evidence based health development in Indonesia’. This project is expanding his research into health information systems while maintaining his Southeast Asian research focus.


Research interests

Dr Kelly’s research is broadly based around health, epidemiological and demographic transitions in Southeast Asia. Of particular interest is the nutrition transition in the region towards diets high in sugars, fat and processed foods and associated rises in obesity and diet-related disease. His research has examined the drivers of such a transition underway in Thailand, particularly upstream food environment drivers. Other health transition factors which have featured in his research include injury and occupational health. More recently his research interests have expanded to include changing patterns of mortality in Southeast Asia and the health information systems which inform analyses of these changes.


  1. Wakabayashi M, Berecki-Gisolf J, Banwell C, Kelly M, Yiengprugsawan V, McKetin R, Seubsman S, Iso H, Sleigh A. (2016) Non-fatal injury in Thailand from 2005-2013: incidence trends and links to alcohol consumption patterns. Journal of Epidemiology. 26(9): 471-480 doi:10.2188/jea.JE20150218
  2. Banwell C, Dixon J, Kelly M, Seubsman S-A, Rimpeekool W, & Sleigh A. (2016) What’s Old is New Again: Innovative Policies to Support Thai Fresh Markets within a Healthy Food System. World Food Policy 3,1, doi: 10.18278/wfp.
  3. Banwell C, Kelly M, Dixon J, Seubsman S, Sleigh A. (2016) Trust: An under explored dimension in the food retail transition in Thailand. Anthropological Forum, 26(2), 138-154. DOI: 10.1080/00664677.2016.1174101
  4. Wakabayashi M, McKetin R, Banwell C, Yiengprugsawan V, Kelly M, Seubsman SA, Iso H, Sleigh A, Thai Cohort Study Team. (2015) Alcohol consumption patterns in Thailand and their relationship with non-communicable disease. BMC Public Health, 15(1):1297. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2662-9
  5. Kelly M, Seubsman S, Banwell C, Dixon J, Sleigh A (2015). Traditional, modern or mixed? Perspectives on social, economic and health impacts of evolving food retail in Thailand. Agriculture and Human Values, 32 (3): 445-460
  6. Kelly M, Seubsman S, Banwell C, Dixon J, Sleigh A. (2014) Thailand's food retail transition: supermarket and fresh market effects on diet quality and health. British Food Journal, 116 (7): 1180-1193.
  7. Zhao J, Kelly M, Bain C, Seubsman S, Sleigh A (2015). Risk factors for cardiovascular disease mortality among 86866 members of the Thai Cohort Study, 2005-2010. Global Journal of Health Sciences, 7 (1): 107-114
  8. Lim L, Banwell C, Bain C, Banks E, Seubsman S, Kelly M, Yiengprugsawan V, and the Thai Cohort Study Team (2014). Sugar sweetened beverages and weight gain over 4 years in a Thai National Cohort - A prospective analysis. PLOS ONE. 9(5): e95309
  9. Yiengprugsawan V, Strazdins L, Lim L, Kelly M, Seubsman S, Sleigh A (2013). Hazardous jobs, mental health and wellbeing in a transitional Southeast Asian economy: evidence from a national cohort of 41,671 Thai adults. Health Promotion International, e pub doi: 10.1093/heapro/dat080.
  10. Banwell C, Dixon J, Seubsman S, Pangsap S, Kelly M, Sleigh A (2013). Evolving food environments in Thailand and implications for the health and nutrition transition Public Health Nutrition, 16(4); 608-615
  11. Kelly M, Yutthaphonphinit P, Seubsman S, Sleigh A (2012). Development Policy in Thailand: from top-down to grass roots, Asian Social Science, 8(13); 29-39
  12. Kelly M, Banwell C, Dixon J, Seubsman S, Yiengprugsawan V, Sleigh A. (2010) Nutrition transition, food retailing and health equity in Thailand. Australasian Epidemiologist 17(3); 4-7.
  13. Kelly M, Strazdins L, Dellora T, Khamman S, Seubsman S, and A Sleigh. 2010. Thailand's Work and Health Transition. International Labour Review, 149 (3) 373-386
  14. Seubsman S, Kelly M, Yuthapornpinit P, and A Sleigh (2009). Cultural resistance to fast food consumption? A study of youth in North Eastern Thailand, International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33: 669–675.
  15. Seubsman S , Lim L, Banwell C, Sripaiboonkij N, Kelly M, Bain C, Sleigh A (2010). Socioeconomic status, sex and obesity in a large national cohort of 15-87 year old open university students in Thailand, Journal of Epidemiology, 20(1):13-20.