Professor Cathy Banwell

PhD, MA, BA, DipT
Emeritus Professor


Cathy Banwell completed a MA social anthropology in New Zealand and conducted a PhD in the Department of Community Medicine. She is now an Associate Professor, at National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, in the Research School of Population Health. 

Her research interests include the socio-cultural contributions to public health; temporal dimensions of health; consumption and risk relating to food, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use; reproductive health, family and social issues of women who use illicit drugs or have HCV.

Her most significant contribution to public health research has been to bring social science theories and research methods to the development of explanations for new patterns of epidemiological risks and outcomes, including the rise of obesity in Australia and Thailand.


Research interests

  • Socio-cultural contributors to obesity in Australia and Thailand
  • Women’s reproductive health, family and social issues related to hepatitis C and illicit drug use
  • Dangerous consumptions: the health risks of alcohol, illicit drugs and food
  • The contribution of modern parenting theories to broadly defined health problems
  • Time and health inequalities


  1. Wangdi K, Gatton ML, Kelly GC, Banwell C, Dev V, Clements ACA. (2016) Malaria in India and it’s implication to regional malaria elimination efforts. Lancet Inf Dis. [Epub ahead of print] 16: e214–24
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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), pp. 138-154. DOI: 10.1080/00664677.2016.1174101
  5. Wangdi K, Banwell C, Gatton ML, Kelly GC, Namgyal R and Clements AC. (2016) Malaria burden and costs of intensified control in Bhutan, 2006-2014: a situational analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 4 (5), pp. e336-e343
  6. Wangdi K, Banwell C, Gatton ML, Kelly GC, Namgyal R and Clements AC. (2016) Development and evaluation of a spatial decision support system for malaria elimination in Bhutan. Malaria J, 15:180
  7. Rimpeekool W, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Kirk M, Yiengprugsawan V, and Sleigh, A. (2015) "I rarely read the label”: Factors that influence Thai consumer responses to nutrition labels.Global Journal of Health Science, 8(1): 21-28
  8. 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
  9. Yiengprugsawan V, Banwell C, Takeda W, Dixon J, Seubsman S, Sleigh A (2015). Health, happiness and eating together: What can a large Thai cohort study tell us? Global Journal of Health Sciences, 7(4): 270-277
  10. Rimpeekool W, Seubsman S, Banwell C, Kirk M, Yiengprugsawan V, Sleigh AC (2015) Food and nutrition labelling in Thailand: a long march from subsistence producers to international traders. Food Policy, Vol 56 Oct; 59-66
  11. Yiengprugsawan V, Banwell C, Zhao J, Seubsman S, Sleigh A (2014). Relationship between body mass index reference and all-cause mortality: evidence from a large cohort of Thai adults. Journal of Obesity, 2014; doi:10.115/2014/708606).PMID 25485146
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Yiengprugsawan V, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Sleigh A. (2012). Short sleep and obesity in a large national cohort of Thai Adults. BMJ Open Epub doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000561
  17. Tangmongvorakul A, Carmichael G, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Sleigh A. (2012) Coital experience among adolescents in 3 social-educational groups in urban Chiang Mai, Thailand. Asian Population Studies, 8(1); 39-63
  18. Tangmunkongvorakul A, Banwell C, Carmichael G, Utomo ID, Seubsman S, Kelly M, Sleigh A. (2012). Use and perceptions of of sexual and reproductive health services among young Northern Thai people. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 43(2); 479-500
  19. Tangmunkongvorakul T, Banwell C, Carmichael C, Utomo ID, Sleigh A. (2011) Birth Control, Pregnancy and Abortion among Adolescents in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Asian Population Studies 7(1); 15-34
  20. Tangmunkongvorakul A, Banwell C, Carmichael C, Utomo ID, Sleigh A. (2011). Sexual perceptions and practices of young people in Northern Thailand. Journal of Youth Studies 14 (3); 315-339
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Tangmunkongvorakul A, Carmichael G, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Sleigh A. (2010). Intimate relationships among adolescents in different social groups in Northern Thailand. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 41(6); 1475-1493
  24. Isaacs B, Dixon J, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Kelly M, Pangsap S. (2010). Competition, adaptation and mutation: Fresh market and supermarket conventions in Thailand. Journal of Sociology, 46(4); 413-436
  25. Banwell C, Lim L, Seubsman S, Bain C, Dixon J, Sleigh A. (2009). Body mass index and health-related behaviours in a national cohort of 87 134 Thai open university students. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63; 366 - 372
  26. Lim L, Kjellstrom T, Sleigh A, Khamman S, Seubsman S, Dixon J, Banwell C. (2009). Associations between urbanisation and components of the health-risk transition in Thailand: a descriptive study of 87,000 Thai adults. Global Health Action Epub, doi: 10.3402/gha.v52i0.1914
  27. Dixon J, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Friel S, MacLennan R. (2007). Dietary Diversity in Khon Kaen, 1988-2006. International Journal of Epidemiology, 36(3): 518-521


Supervised students