Doctor Catharine Fleming

Doctor Catharine Fleming

Lecturer, Public Health,
Undergraduate Health Science


Dr Fleming has a PhD in paediatric nutrition and dietetics and over 12 years’ experience in paediatric nutrition relating to infant and young child feeding, paediatric food allergy and childhood obesity. In particular, she has expertise in metabolic disorders in specialised paediatric populations such as childhood cancer survivors. Dr Fleming has worked internationally with a lead paediatric gastroenterology team at Great Ormond Street hospital London in the management of paediatric food allergies, specifically around the feeding difficulties of children aged 0- 12 years with Food Protein Induced Gastrointestinal Allergies (Myer et al 2013, Dominguez-Ortega et al 2014 and Meyer et al 2014). Dr Fleming continued to build her expertise in child nutrition while working completing her PhD at Sydney children’s Hospital in paediatric oncology. During this time, I investigated the need for nutritional support and intervention after childhood cancer treatment to focus on the prevention of metabolic late effects in child hood cancer survivors (Cohen et al 2011, Cohen et al 2015). Specifically, the development and project management of an innovative parent and child-targeted e-Health program ‘ENeRgy-KIDS’ to address diet and feeding behaviours after childhood cancer treatment, focusing on healthy survivorship and disease prevention (Fleming et al 2015).

In addition, I am a member of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries Nutrition Working Group and have an active part in coordinating the global development of a nutritional screening tool, algorithm and guidelines for paediatric oncology nutrition in Low Middle Income Countries. This has involved facilitation of these projects across 30 LMIC countries to develop a universal intervention algorithm and screening tool to globally address addresses malnutrition (over and under) in children with cancer (Fleming 2016).  Dr Fleming has provided nutritional consultation for the development of a unique, participatory, workshop-based method to explore adolescent and maternal/infant diet and nutrition as a contribution to the 2019 State of the World’s Children report on child and maternal diet and nutrition by UNICEF.

Most recently as an Early Career Researcher in the Translation Health Research Institute, Dr Fleming is working collaboratively across Western Sydney University with expert researchers in infant feeding, early childhood development and disordered eating focused clinical psychology to build a body of work focusing on protecting children against lifelong chronic disease through investigating different aspects of early infant and young child feeding in the first 2000 days of life. The overall research program aims to reduce the early development of diet-related chronic disease through early foundation feeding interventions of knowledge, policy and practice in Australia. Specifically focusing on a mixed methods investigation into the role of parental knowledge, influences and use of ready-to-use of squeezable complementary food pouches as a feeding option in young children (Fleming 2018). 

This information has been contributed by Doctor Fleming.


  • PhD University of New South Wales
  • BA (Hons) University of Wollongong

Professional Memberships

  • Nutrition Society of Australia (2011)
  • International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Paediatric oncology for Developing Countries (PODC): Nutrition Group (2011)
  • International Paediatric Oncology Nutrition Group (IPONG) (2011)
  • Childhood Oncology Nutrition Network Australia (2011)
  • Public Health Association SIG: Public Health Nutrition (2011)
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association (2015)
  • Global Adolescent Nutrition Network (2024 - 2024)
  • Public Health Association of Australia (2006 - 2021)


  • Breastfeeding
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Infant feeding practices
  • Paediatric Nutrition

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Undergraduate Health Science


Location: 24.2.12

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Journal Articles

  • Iyer, A., Kent, K., Brunacci, K., Agho, K. and Fleming, C. (2024), 'Feeding practices, parent perceptions, and diet diversity in a sample of children aged 0-5 years from Western Sydney, Australia : a mixed methods study', Nutrients, vol 16, no 2 .
  • Dadich, A., Hockey, K., Kaplun, C., Fleming, C., Hopwood, N., Moraby, K. and Elliot, C. (2023), 'Clinician and carer moral concerns when caring for children who tube-feed', Journal of Child Health Care, vol 27, no 2 , pp 182 - 196.
  • El-Mighrabi, N., Fleming, C. and Agho, K. (2023), 'Wasting and underweight in Northern African children : findings from multiple-indicator cluster surveys, 2014-2018', Nutrients, vol 15, no 14 .
  • Brunacci, K., Salmon, L., McCann, J., Gribble, K. and Fleming, C. (2023), 'The big squeeze : a product content and labelling analysis of ready-to-use complementary infant food pouches in Australia', BMC Public Health, vol 23, no 1 .
  • El-Mighrabi, N., Fleming, C., Dhami, M., Elmabsout, A. and Agho, K. (2023), 'A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of childhood undernutrition in North Africa', PLoS One, vol 18, no 4 .
  • Kent, K., Larsen-Truong, K., Fleming, C., Li, L., Phillipson, L., Steiner-Lim, G. and Charlton, K. (2023), '"I always buy the purple ones ... if I see them" : socioecological factors influencing anthocyanin-rich food consumption for cognitive health in older adults', Nutrients, vol 15, no 5 .
  • Fleming, C., Sharma, D., Brunacci, K., Chandra, S., Lala, G., Munn, L. and Third, A. (2023), 'Fix my food : an urgent call to action from adolescents on how they experience and want to see change in their food systems', Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, vol 36, no 6 , pp 2295 - 2309.
  • Elmighrabi, N., Fleming, C., Dhami, M. and Agho, K. (2023), 'Childhood undernutrition in North Africa : systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies', Global Health Action, vol 16, no 1 .
  • Van Buuren, L., Fleming, C., Hay, P., Bussey, K., Trompeter, N., Lonergan, A. and Mitchison, D. (2023), 'The prevalence and burden of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) in a general adolescent population', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 11, no 1 .
  • Fleming, C., Murphy-Alford, A., Cohen, J., Fleming, M., Wakefield, C. and Naumann, F. (2022), 'Poor diet quality and adverse eating behaviors in young survivors of childhood cancer', Pediatric Blood and Cancer, vol 69, no 1 .
  • Agho, K., Ahmed, T., Fleming, C., Dhami, M., Miner, C., Torome, R. and Ogbo, F. (2021), 'Breastfeeding practices among adolescent mothers and associated factors in Bangladesh (2004-2014)', Nutrients, vol 13, no 2 .
  • Fleming , C., Diniz De Oliveira, J., Schmied, V., Lala, G., Sharma, D., Koniz-Booher, P., Perez-Escamilla, R. and Third, A. (2021), 'Adolescent voices and perspectives on food and nutrition : feasibility of an innovative participatory methodology', Current Developments in Nutrition, vol 5, no Suppl. 2 , pp 744 - 744.
  • Fleming, C., Diniz De Oliveira, J., Sharma, D., Schmied, V., Lala, G., Koniz-Booher, P., Perez-Escamilla, R. and Third, A. (2021), 'Drivers of food choice, barriers to healthy eating and a call to action from adolescents to improve nutritional intake across 18 countries', Current Developments in Nutrition, vol 5, no Suppl. 2 , pp 643 - 643.
  • Ee, C., Courten, B., Avard, N., de Manincor, M., Al-Dabbas, M., Hao, J., McBride, K., Dubois, S., White, R., Fleming, C., Egger, G., Blair, A., Stevens, J., MacMillan, F., Deed, G., Grant, S., Templeman, K. and Chang, D. (2020), 'Shared medical appointments and mindfulness for Type 2 diabetes : a mixed-methods feasibility study', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol 11 .
  • McBride, K., Fleming, C., George, E., Steiner, G. and MacMillan, F. (2019), 'Double discourse : qualitative perspectives on breast screening participation among obese women and their health care providers', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol 16, no 4 .
  • Agho, K., Ezeh, O., Ghimire, P., Osuagwu, U., Stevens, G., Tannous, K., Fleming, C., Ogbo, F., Diallo, T., Akombi, B., Ogeleka, P., Abir, T., Issaka, A., Ahmed, K., Victor, R., Charwe, D., Rwabilimbo, A., Subramanee, D., Mehak, M., Nagdev, N. and Dhami, M. (2019), 'Exclusive breastfeeding rates and associated factors in 13 "Economic Community of West African States" (ECOWAS) countries', Nutrients, vol 11, no 12 .
  • Fleming, C., Cohen, J., Murphy, A., Wakefield, C., Cohn, R. and Naumann, F. (2015), 'Parent feeding interactions and practices during childhood cancer treatment : a qualitative investigation', Appetite, vol 81, no 1 , pp 219 - 225.
  • Cohen, J., Wakefield, C., Tapsell, L., Walton, K., Fleming, C. and Cohn, R. (2015), 'Exploring the views of parents regarding dietary habits of their young cancer-surviving children', Supportive Care in Cancer, vol 23, no 2 , pp 463 - 471.
  • Fleming, C., Viani, K., Murphy, A., Mosby, T., Arora, B., Schoeman, J. and Ladas, E. (2015), 'The development, testing, and preliminary feasibility of an adaptable pediatric oncology nutrition algorithm for low-middle income countries', Indian Journal of Cancer, vol 52, no 2 , pp 225 - 228.
  • Meyer, R., Rommel, N., Van Oudenhove, L., Fleming, C., Dziubak, R. and Shah, N. (2014), 'Feeding difficulties in children with food protein-induced gastrointestinal allergies', Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol 29, no 10 , pp 1764 - 1769.
  • Dominguez-Ortega, G., Borrelli, O., Meyer, R., Dziubak, R., de Koker, C., Godwin, H., Fleming, C., Thapar, N., Elawad, M., Kiparissi, F., Fox, A. and Shah, N. (2014), 'Extraintestinal manifestations in children with gastrointestinal food allergy', Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, vol 59, no 2 , pp 210 - 214.
  • Mullan, J., Rich, W., Kreis, I. and Fleming, C. (2013), 'Early childhood facility staff knowledge and confidence with food allergy management : a preliminary study', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, vol 38, no 1 , pp 107 - 111.
  • Meyer, R., Fleming, C., Dominguez-Ortega, G., Lindley, K., Michaelis, L., Thapar, N., Chakravarti, V., Elawad, M., Fox, A. and Shah, N. (2013), 'Manifestations of food protein induced gastrointestinal allergies presenting to a single tertiary paediatric gastroenterology unit', World Allergy Organization Journal, vol 6 .
  • Daniel , G., Wakefield, C., Ryan, B., Fleming, C., Levett, N. and Cohn, R. (2013), 'Accommodation in pediatric oncology : parental experiences, preferences and unmet needs', Rural and Remote Health, vol 13, no 2 .
  • Cohen, J., Wakefield, C., Fleming, C., Gawthorne, R., Tapsell, L. and Cohn, R. (2012), 'Dietary intake after treatment in child cancer survivors', Pediatric Blood and Cancer, vol 58, no 5 , pp 752 - 757.
  • Wakefield, C., Butow, P., Fleming, C., Daniel, G. and Cohn, R. (2012), 'Family information needs at childhood cancer treatment completion', Pediatric Blood and Cancer, vol 58, no 4 , pp 621 - 626.
  • Wakefield, C., McLoone, J., Fleming, C., Peate, M., Thomas, E., Sansom-Daly, U., Butow, P. and Cohn, R. (2011), 'Adolescent cancer and health-related decision-making : an Australian multi-perspective family analysis of appointment attendance and involvement in medical and lifestyle choices', Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, vol 1, no 4 , pp 173 - 180.
  • McLoone, J., Wakefield, C., Butow, P., Fleming, C. and Cohn, R. (2011), 'Returning to school after adolescent cancer : a qualitative examination of Australian survivors' and their families' perspectives', Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, vol 1, no 2 , pp 87 - 94.

Conference Papers

  • McBride, K., Fleming, C., George, E., Steiner, G. and MacMillan, F. (2018), 'Obesity as a barrier to participation in breast screening : insights from Australia', NCRI Cancer Conference, Glasgow, U.K..
  • Fleming, C., Salmon, L. and Smith, J. (2018), 'Regulating ready-to-use squeeze pouch infant foods for optimal health outcomes', Public Health Association of Australia's Food Futures Conference, Brisbane, N.S.W..

Other Publications

  • 2021, 'Governance, Children's Rights and Digital Health', Report
  • 2021, 'Fix My Food: Children's Views on Transforming Food Systems', Report
  • 2020, 'Food and Me. How Adolescents Experience Nutrition Across the World. A Companion Report to The State of the World's Children 2019', Report
  • 2020, 'Feeding My Child: How Mothers Experience Nutrition Across the World. A Companion Report to The State of the World's Children 2019', Report
  • 2019, 'Returning to Work After Parental Leave: An Appreciative Inquiry. Vice Chancellor's Gender Equality Fund, Final Report 2019', Report

Current Projects

Title: Improving young mothers' mental health literacy through the development of a digital learning resource co-designed with consumers and persons with lived experience
  • Department of Health (Cat. 1)
Western Researchers: Arianne Reis, Virginia Schmied, Catharine Fleming and Cathy Kaplun
Years: 2021-06-11 - 2024-06-30
ID: P00027096
Title: The Pasifika Preventing Diabetes Programme
  • South Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Central and Eastern Primary Health Network
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (ACRG)
  • Sanofi-aventis Australia Pty Ltd
  • NSW Health Pathology
  • NSW Department of Health
  • Wentworth Healthcare Limited
  • Diabetes NSW
  • WentWest Limited
  • Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Maridulu Budyari Gumal
  • South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
  • South Western Sydney Primary Health Network Ltd
Western Researchers: David Simmons, Freya Macmillan, Jennifer Reath, Kathy Tannous, Kate Mcbride and Catharine Fleming
Years: 2019-07-01 - 2025-09-30
ID: P00025457

Previous Projects

Title: Effectiveness of community-based food hubs and peer support on food accessibility and dietary intake
  • Maridulu Budyari Gumal
Western Researchers: Freya Macmillan, David Simmons, Levi Osuagwu, Kate Mcbride, Catharine Fleming and Nicky Morrison
Years: 2020-02-05 - 2021-06-30
ID: P00026433
Title: Caring for carers: How to support decision-making at seminal moments [Catharine Fleming]
  • University of Technology Sydney
Western Researchers: Ann Dadich, Catharine Fleming, Premaratne Samaranayake, Hilal Hurriyet and Cathy Kaplun
Years: 2020-06-01 - 2021-06-30
ID: P00026471


Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Malnutrition in Libyan Children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: MRES International coursework
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Cross-sectional Study Exploring the Diets of a Sample of Children from Western Sydney'
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Parental Perceptions of their Children's Diet and Academic Performance in the First Three Years of School: A Mixed-Method Analysis
Field of Research: Nutrition And Dietetics
Thesis Title: Undernutrition in North African children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Chronic Illness in Childhood and the Outcomes of a Clinically Diagnosed Eating Disorder Later in Adolescence.
Field of Research:
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: MRES International coursework
Field of Research:


Title: Why nutrition should be a priority in all Australian schools
Description: In Australia, one in four children and teenagers are overweight or obese. Globally, more than 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) are obese. Statistics like these have led to a greater focus from governments, schools and communities more broadly to promote regular physical activity and healthier diets among young people

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