Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE)
Biometry and Evidence-based Public Health
Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU)
81377 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 2180-78234
I am a Public Health Nutritionist with a background in Nutritional Sciences, Public Health, Human Biology and International Development. The focus of my scientific work is on infant and young child nutrition for the prevention of nutritional deficiencies and non-communicable diseases, including women’s reproductive health with an emphasis on breastfeeding. I have worked as an author and scientific editor of WHO/UNICEF global guidelines in the area of infant and young child feeding and have clinical experience as an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) in private practice. I am passionate about working at the intersection of science, practice, and policy, conducting relevant research that improves the lives of vulnerable populations. I strive to provide excellent teaching to improve the focus and depth of knowledge in the next generations of public health, nutrition and medical professionals.
- FoodPlanetH - Food Environments for Planetary Health (2022-2027; Project brief)
- FoodSAMSA - Food environments in Africa: Addressing Malnutrition using a Syndemics Approach (2021-2024; Website)
- MensaPlus - interventions to support healthy and sustainable diets in university canteens and similar settings
Areas of interest
- Global international guidelines for nutrition of women, infants and children (WHO, UNICEF)
- Commercial determinants and health
- Public and Planetary Health Nutrition
- Food systems, health and sustainability
- Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) including in humanitarian settings (IYCF-E)
- Prevention of undernutrition, especially micronutrient deficiencies
- Prevention of childhood non-communicable diseases, overweight and obesity
- Women’s sexual and reproductive health, especially breastfeeding
- Evidence synthesis (systematic reviews and meta-analyses, narrative reviews)
- Large, multi-centre observational and cohort studies
- Commercial market surveys and analysis
- Global public health guidelines and capacity building in international development
- Implementation guidance on counseling women to improve breastfeeding practices. (WHO, UNICEF, 2021, online)
- Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative for small, sick and premature babies in neonatal wards. (WHO, UNICEF, 2020, online)
- Country experiences with the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative: Compendium of case studies from around the world. (WHO, UNICEF, 2017, online)
- UNICEF Programming guidance: procurement and use of breastmilk substitutes in humanitarian settings. (WHO, UNICEF, 2017, online)
All publications on Google Scholar, PubMed and ResearchGate.
- Theurich, MA, The Lancet Breastfeeding Series and the role of the commercial milk formula industry. The Lancet. Aug 2023.
- Theurich MA, Davanzo R, Busck-Rasmussen M, Díaz-Gómez NM, Brennan C, Kylberg E, Bærug A, McHugh L, Weikert C, Abraham K, Koletzko B. Breastfeeding Rates and Programs in Europe: A Survey of 11 National Breastfeeding Committees and Representatives. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 Mar;68(3):400-407. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002234.
- Theurich MA, Zaragoza-Jordana M, Luque V, Gruszfeld D, Gradowska K, Xhonneux A, Riva E, Verduci E, Poncelet P, Damianidi L, Koletzko B, Grote V. Commercial complementary food use amongst European infants and children: results from the EU Childhood Obesity Project. Eur J Nutr. 2020 Jun;59(4):1679-1692. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-02023-3. Epub 2019 Jul 1.
Further publications are listed below.
- Science Manager, Junior Research Group Planetary Health Nutrition, Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research, IBE, LMU Munich, March 2023- present
- Independent Consultant, Private Practice Lactation Consultant, October 2022- March 2023
- Postdoctoral Researcher, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, July 2021 - September 2022
- Independent Consultant, UNICEF/WHO Aug 2020- Aug 2021
- Doctoral Researcher, Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, LMU Munich, April 2017- March 2021
- Parental Leave, July- December 2019
- Independent Consultant, World Health Organization, May-July 2020
- Independent Consultant, EPOS Health Management, Oct-Nov 2017
- Independent Consultant, UNICEF, July -August 2016
- Senior Advisor, GIZ Bonn, Jan- July 2016
- Independent Consultant, GIZ Bonn, Aug 2015
- Senior Advisor, GIZ, Nairobi, Kenya, Mar 2014- May 2015
- Independent Consultant, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinder und Jugendmedizin, 2011-2019
- Research Associate, Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, LMU Munich, Oct 2011 – Feb 2014
- Preschool Teacher, Munich, Germany 2009-2011
- Public Health Nutritionist, Virginia State Health Department, United States, 2008-2009
Degrees & Certifications
- Doctor of Human Biology (Dr. rer. hum. biol.,), Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Berthold Koletzko, Dr. med. Veit Grote, MSc. Title: Complementary feeding practices and commercial infant foods; open access)
- Master of Public Health (MPH) Institute for Biometry and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
- Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (BSc) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
- International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
- Maternal and Child Nutrition (Lecture in the course ‘Public Health Nutrition’ (1-week intensive course in the Master Programmes in Public Health and Epidemiology and the PhD Programme Public Health & Epidemiology, LMU Munich, starting in February 2023; Course outline)
- Breastfeeding Basics (Lecture in the course ‘Breastfeeding and adequate substitutes’ (Massive Open Online Course, Coursera, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, 2023; Course website)
- Expressing and Storing Breastmilk (Lecture in the course ‘Breastfeeding and adequate substitutes’ (Massive Open Online Course, Coursera, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, 2023; Course website)
- Correct Breastmilk Substitute Preparation and Bottle Feeding Practices (Lecture in the course ‘Breastfeeding and adequate substitutes’ (Massive Open Online Course, Coursera, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, 2023; Course website)
- Critical assessment of scientific papers (Seminar in the Course ‘Social Medicine’ for medical students, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 2022)
- Systematic Reviews (Lecture in the course ‚Medical Sociology’ for medical students, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 2022)
- Maternal and Child Nutrition: Public Health Challenges, Programmes and Policies (Lecture for the course ‘Prevention and health promotion’ for medical students, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 2021)
- Behavioral and structural prevention: example of physical activity (Lecture in the course Prevention and Health Promotion for medical students, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 2021)
- Oecotrophica Prize, Nutritional Behavior and Consumer Research, Professional Association of German Dietitians (VDOE, 2022)
- First Place Poster Prize, "Breastfeeding rates and programs in Europe – a survey of 11 national breastfeeding committees and representatives." (ISRHML 19th Biennial Congress, Kanagawa, Japan, 2018)
Editorships and peer reviewer activities
- Associate Editor BMC Nutrition (BioMed Central, verified editorships at Web of Science)
- Peer Review: BMJ Global Health, Maternal & Child Nutrition, Journal of Human Lactation, BMC Nutrition, European Journal of Nutrition, Food Chemistry Advances, Heliyon, Journal of Tropical Medicine, Nutrition Reviews, Nutrients, Children, Current Developments in Nutrition, International Breastfeeding Journal, Social Sciences. (Verified peer-review on Web of Science)
Board and Committee Memberships
- International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML): Co-President of the global Trainee Interest Group (2019-2021)
- Bundesverband Still und Laktationsberaterinnen (BDL)
- European Association of Lactation Consultants (ELACTA)
- International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Science Communication
- The Reward of Research: 19th ISRHML International Congress in Japan (Deutsche Hebammen Zeitschrift, DHZ, March 2019)
Key publications are listed above
Journal articles (peer-reviewed)
- Matterne, U., Theurich, M.A., Pröbstl, S. et al. Quality of systematic reviews on timing of complementary feeding for early childhood allergy prevention. BMC Med Res Methodol 23, 80 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-023-01899-4, April 2023.
- Theurich, M. A, Fewtrell, M, Baumgartner, J, Perkin, M., Breda, J. Wickramansinghe, K., Weber, M., Koletzko, B., Moving Complementary Feeding Forward: Report on a Workshop of the Federation of International Societies for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (FISPGHAN) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, October 2022.
- Luque, V., Closa-Monasterolo, R., Grote, V., Ambrosini, G., ZaragozaJordana. M., Ferré, N., Theurich, M.A., Koletzko, B., Verduci, E., Gruszfeld, D., Xhonneux, A., Escribano, J. Dietary patterns acquired in early life are associated with cardiovascular risk markers at school age. Clinical Nutrition, June 2021.
- Theurich, M.A., McCool-Myers, M., Koletzko B. “Supporting breastfeeding of small, sick and preterm neonates.” Seminars in perinatology: 151387 December 2020.
- Theurich MA, Grote V, Koletzko B. Complementary feeding and long-term health implications. Nutr Rev. 2020 Dec 1;78(Suppl 2):6-12. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa059. PMID: 33196095.
- Theurich, M., Grote, V., Koletzko, B. Nutritional Adequacy of Commercial Complementary Cereals in Germany. Nutrients. Mai 2020
- Theurich, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Damianidi, L., Gruszfeld, D., Xhonneux, A., Szott, K., Luque, V., Riva, E., Verduci, E., Koletzko, B., Grote, V. Commercial complementary food use amongst European infants and children: Results from the EU Childhood Obesity Project. European Journal of Nutrition. Juli 2019
- Theurich, M. Are Modern Complementary Food Packaging, Devices and Teats Compatible with International Guidance on Complementary Feeding? Journal of Human Lactation, Mai 2019.
- Theurich, M.A., Humphreys, A., Gosselin, L., McCool-Myers, M. Food safety considerations for commercial complementary foods from global operational guidance on infant and young child feeding in emergencies. Nutrition Reviews, Mai 2019.
- Theurich, M.A. Perspective: Novel commercial packaging and devices for complementary feeding. Advances in Nutrition, Aug 2018.
- Theurich, M.A., Weikert, C., Abraham, K. et al. Stillquoten und Stillförderung in ausgewählten Ländern Europas. Bundesgesundheitsbl 61, 926–936 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00103-018-2762-7
- McCool, M.E., Theurich, M.A., Zuekle, A., Knuettel, H., Apfelbacher C., Predictors of female sexual dysfunction: A systematic review and qualitative analysis through gender inequality paradigms. BMC Women’s Health, Juni 2018.
- Theurich, M.A., World Health Assembly Resolution 69.9 calls for an end to unethical marketing of ‘baby foods.’, Journal of Human Lactation, Feb 2018.
- Theurich, M.A., Davanzo, R., Busck-Rasmussen, M., Díaz-Gómez, N. M., Brennan, C., Kylberg, E., Bærug, A. McHugh, L., Weikert, C., Abraham, K., Koletzko, B. Breastfeeding rates and programs in Europe – a survey of 11 national breastfeeding committees and representatives. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Dez 2018.
- Theurich, M.A.., Grote, V. Are Commercial Complementary Food Distributions to Refugees and Migrants in Europe Conforming to International Policies and Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies? Journal of Human Lactation, Juni 2017.
- Pawellek, I., Grote, V., Theurich, M.A., Closa-Monasterolo, R., Stolarczyk, A., Verduci, E., Xhonneux, A., Koletzko, B. Factors associated with sugar intake and sugar sources in European children from 1 to 8 years of age. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 2016.
- McCool, M., Zuelke, A., Theurich, M.A., Knuettel, H., Ricci, C., Apfelbacher, C. Prevalence of Female Sexual Dysfunction Among Premenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis of Observational Studies. Sexual Medicine Reviews, Juli 2016.
- Damianidi, L, Gruszfeld, D., E Verduci, E, Vecchi, F, Xhonneux, A, Langhendries, J-P, Luque, V, Theurich, M.A., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Koletzko, B., Grote, V. Protein intakes and their nutritional sources during the first 2 years of life: Secondary data evaluation from the European Childhood Obesity Project. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Juni 2016.
- Theurich, M.A., McCool, M. Moving National Breastfeeding Policies into Practice: A Plea to Integrate Lactation Education and Training into Nutrition and Dietetics Programs in the United States. Journal of Human Lactation, Juni 2016.
- Grote, V., Theurich, M. Complementary feeding and obesity risk. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, Mai 2014.McCool, M., Theurich, M.A., Apfelbacher, C. Prevalence and predictors of female sexual dysfunction: A protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, Juli 2014.
- Grote, V., Theurich, M., Koletzko, B. Do complementary feeding practices predict the later risk of obesity? Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, Mai 2012.
- Theurich, Melissa et al. Promoting Healthy and Sustainable Diets through Food Service Interventions in University Settings: A Scoping Review Protocol. OSF, 8 June 2023. osf.io/ykv3n
- Theurich, Melissa et al. Protocol for an overview of reviews on the timing of introduction of complementary foods for early childhood allergy prevention. OSF, 9 June 2022. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/HJKUN
- Matterne, Uwe et al. Protocol for an Assessment of the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews on Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods for Early Childhood Allergy Prevention. OSF, 3 May 2022. https://osf.io/q2u7m/
- McCool, M. Theurich, M.A., Apfelbacher, C. Prevalence and predictors of female sexual dysfunction: a protocol for a systematic review. Syst Rev. . 2014 Jul 11;3:75. DOI: 10.1186/2046-4053-3-75
Invited Talks, Expert Panels and Conference Moderation (Selection)
- “Complementary Food: Timing, Type & Composition: Chances and Risks in Prevention of Disease” Theurich, M.A., Austrian Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Obergurgl, Austria, Jan 2022
- “Practices of and standards for marketing of complementary foods,” Theurich, M.A. Joint Workshop of the Federation of FISPGHAN and WHO Europe, "Moving Complementary Feeding Forward," 6th World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, 2021
- ISRHML European Webinar Series, Co-moderation, Theurich, M.A. Domellöf, M. Complementary Feeding Workshop, 20th ISRHML Biennial Conference, Stockholm Sweden (Co-Moderator, Theurich, M.A. Dömmelhof, M, Online), 2019-2021
- “Complementary foods and feeding aids, content and packaging” Theurich, M.A. German Association of Lactation Consultants Hybrid Symposium, Künzell, Germany, 2021
- “Complementary foods and feeding aids, content and packaging” Theurich, M.A. German Association of Lactation Consultants Symposium “Breastfeeding and More” Karlsruhe, Germany, 2020
- “Complementary feeding and commercial complementary foods” Theurich, M.A. ISRHML European Webinars, 2020
- Expert Panelist, Global Governance Futures, Global Public Policy Institute, Multilateral Dialogues Pandemonium: Risk Factors for Future Pandemics, Berlin, Germany, 2017