Scientist 'F' & Head  



Contact: +91-40-27197321

Brief Profile

Has a PhD in Health Communication from University of Hyderabad. He was ICMR International fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore USA in 2013. Was an international invitee and a fellow in the Summer School of Risk Communication at Technology University of Dresden, Germany in 2016 and International Union of Nutrition Sciences (IUNS) Capacity and Leadership Building Programme in Nutrition Sciences in National Institute of Nutrition and Health, Tokyo, Japan in 2017

Working in the broad area of health communication, he ventured into the largely unchartered territory of nutrition communication. His specific research interests are in nutrition and food safety communication with special emphasis on social, behavioral and cultural aspects of communicative processes. His research and practice transcend the traditional extension activities and integrate translational communication science with community-based approaches to promote nutrition. His research and advocacy have been multi-faceted engaging in awareness creation, behaviour change, vendor education, policy advocacy, media engagement and consumer behaviour. He firmly believes that nutrition and health communication can bring about sustainable behaviour change only if individual, interpersonal, community and policy level changes are achieved. Therefore, his latest research studies have touched wide-ranging arenas including contextual factors shaping food environments; food labelling; front-of-pack labels; information and communication technologies (ICTs) vis-à-vis diet/nutrition behaviours; food policy analysis; social media and food behaviours; and infodemiology.

He was instrumental in employing qualitative research methods and mixed methods approaches in several inter-disciplinary research projects in NIN. He secured several national and international extramural grants for his research. Currently he is spearheading the e-dialogue series in the ‘Let’sFixOurFood’ consortium which looks into the food environments of adolescents. He is also a core-team member in developing Health Communication Programme for ICMR scientists.

He scripted and directed educational films on nutrition and food safety alongside developing many communication material and authoring several popular articles in renowned newspapers/magazines. He conducted over 300 nutrition and health awareness programs for schoolchildren, women’s groups, industry, academics and other stakeholder groups. He co-ordinated the activities of the Secretariat of World Health Organization’s (WHO) Southeast Asia Nutrition Research-cum-Action Network of 11 member countries and edited its half-yearly newsletter from 2004-2012.

He teaches nutrition communication to various regular and ad hoc training programmes of the institute and serves as a guest faculty and resource person for training programmes at various prestigious institutes and Universities. He has also drafted syllabi for several training programmes. He supervised and co-supervised 5 PhDs and several MSc dissertations. He acts as a peer reviewer for several international journals and referee for PhD dissertations of national and international universities

He sits on expert committees of regulatory bodies like Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Bureau of Indian Standards, Codex Alimentarius Commission, and has been a part of technical and project advisory groups of several academic organizations.

Prior to joining NIN, he served in various capacities in TV, Press and Advertising.

Total publications: 77
Publications in the last 10 years
  1. Banerjee P, Reddy BG, Gavaravarapu SM* . Identifying opportunities and barriers for introducing a workplace nutrition and health program for employees: Findings from formative research. Work. 2021 Sep 8(Preprint):1-3.
  2. Zorbas C, Jeyapalan D, Peeters A, Kapeke K, Sethi V, Murira Z, Gavaravarapu SM , Backholer K. World Children's Day 2022: power, policy, and children's rights to nutrition. The Lancet. 2022 Nov 18.
  3. Konapur A, Gavaravarapu SRM*, Nair KM. The Five As Approach for Contextual Assessment of Food Environment. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2022 DOI:
  4. Gavaravarapu SRM*, Banerjee P, Seal A, Pittla N, Reddy TM. Impact of ‘Infodemic in Pandemic’ on food and nutrition related perceptions and practices of Indian internet users. PLOS ONE. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266705
  5. Seal A, Gavaravaravpu SRM*, Konapur A. Can foodporn prime healthy eating? Thinking beyond digital gazing and satiety. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2022.
  6. Saha S, Sudershan RV, Gavaravarapu SM*. Health and nutrition claims on food labels– Means of communication that can influence food choices of adolescents. Journal of Content, Community and Communication. 2021, Vol. 13(7); 113-124 DOI: 10.31620/JCCC.06.21/11
  7. Hedaoo RP, Kabra P, Gavaravarapu SM*. “Nutritainment” -A Nutrition Education Module for Indian Adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2021; 3(2): 187 -190
  8. Pande R, Gavaravarapu SRM*, Kulkarni B. Front-of-pack nutrition labelling in India. Lancet Public Health. 2020, 1; 5(4):e19
  9. Hedaoo R, Gavaravarapu SM*. Understanding body image perception and body image discontentment in early adolescence. Indian Journal of Community Health. 2020; 32(2):411-417.
  10. Sobhana PP, Kandlakunta B, Nagaraju R, Thappatla D, Epparapalli S, Vemula SR, Gavaravarapu SR, Korrapati D. Human clinical trial to assess the effect of consumption of multigrain Indian bread on glycemic regulation in type 2 diabetic participants. Journal of Food Biochemistry. 2020; 1: e13465.
  11. Cherian KS, Gavaravarapu SM, Sainoji A, Yagnambhatt VR. Coaches’ perceptions about food, appetite, and nutrition of adolescent Indian athletes-A qualitative study. Heliyon. 2020 Feb 1;6(2):e03354 (
  12. Banerjee P, Damayanthi K, Mendu VVR, Gavaravarapu SM*. Calorie counting smart phone apps: effectiveness in nutritional awareness, lifestyle modification and weight management among young Indian adults. Health Informatics Journal, 2019 (
  13. Bamji MS, Rajnikant S, Gavaravarapu SRM*, "Gandhi and Health @ 150: Foot prints of ICMR's Century Long Journey" (Book Review), Current Science, 117(8): 1376-1377
  14. Sabbithi A, Naveenk Kumar R, Gavaravarapu SM, Balakrishna N, Vemula SR. Safety of cooked foods in home and street vended conditions beyond 2 hours: relevance of ‘safe storage temperature’ message from WHO’s 5 keys for safe food in India. International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2019
  15. Gavaravarapu SM. Nutrition Communication – Rhetoric and Reality. Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2019; 149(3): 333-344
  16. Konapur A, Krishnapillai M, Nagalla B, & Gavaravarapu SM*. A sequential, exploratory, mixed-methods approach for development and validation of a context-specific knowledge, attitude and practice questionnaire on micronutrients for literate mothers of school-age children. Public Health Nutrition, 2019; 22(11): 2120-2131. doi:10.1017/S1368980019000521
  17. Gavaravarapu SM and Hemaltha R. Food for thought - Thought for food: Mahatma’s views on nutrition, controlled and balanced diets. Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2019, 149(7):119-127. (Special issue on Gandhi and Health @150)
  18. SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu, Archana Konapur, Madhavan Nair Krishnapillai, Balakrishna Nagalla. Dimensions of Food Environment Impacting Diet Diversity and Micronutrient Intakes in Middle Income Households: A Mixed Methods Study in Rural South India.Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2019;75(suppl 3):1–424 DOI: 10.1159/0005017512013: 63 (Suppl. 1); 828 (Abstract)
  19. Paromita Banerjee, SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu, G Bhanuprakash Reddy. Assessment of Lifestyle, Food Environment and Nutrition Parameters of IT Employees for Development of a Workplace Wellness Programme. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2019; 75 (suppl 3):1–424 DOI: 10.1159/000501751 (Abstract)
  20. Radhika Hedaoo, Ria Jain, SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu. Understanding Body Image Discontent and Body Image Perception among Adolescents. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019;75 (suppl 3):1–424 DOI: 10.1159/000501751      (Abstract)
  21. Archana Konapur, Madhavan Nair Krishnapillai, Balakrishna Nagalla, SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu. Micronutrient Adequacy in Rural Indian Children’s Diets – Need for Country Specific Tool. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019; 75(suppl 3):1–424 DOI: 10.1159/000501751. (Abstract)
  22. Gavaravarapu SM, Hemalatha R. National Institute of Nutrition: 100 years of empowering the nation through nutrition. The Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2018 Nov;148(5):477-487
  23. Banerjee P, Gavaravarapu SM*. Wellness programmes in the workplace in India. The Lancet Public Health. 2018 Nov 1; 3(11):e515.
  24. Dey K, Gavaravarapu SM*, Bannerjee P, Balakrishna N, Sudershan RV. Food scares propagated by Media and their Impact on Consumer Perception of Food safety and consumption pattern. Journal of Content, Community & Communication, 2018; 8(4): 1-7
  25. Aiswarya R, Sudershan RV, Rao MVV, Konapur A, Gavaravarapu SM*. Perceptions and Practices Related to Consumption of ‘Energy Drinks'. The Indian Journal of Nutrition And Dietetics, 2018, 55(4):412
  26. Hedaoo R, Gavaravarapu SM. Rhetoric and Reality of Nutrition Promotion through Entertainment Education-A Review of Research from Last Six Decades. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development. 2017 Oct 1;8(4).
  27. Gavaravarapu SM*, Saha S, Vemula SR, Mendu VV. Read-B4-U-Eat: A Multi-component Communication Module to Promote Food Label Reading Skills Among Adolescents in India. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2016 Sep; 48(8):586.
  28. Gavaravarapu SM*, Konapur A, Saha S. Role of education and communication interventions in promoting micronutrient status in India–what research in the last two decades informs?. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. 2017; 10(4)
  29. Surpur S, Hedaoo R , Gavaravarapu, SM. (2017). Environmental pressures: stress as a culpable factor affecting dietary choices among adolescents. Indian Journal of Applied Research. 2017 vii. 763-766.
  30. Nalam A, Gavaravarapu SM, Kodali V, Dharmapuri RR. Pictorial Learning and Visual Imagery-Based Activity Methods in Nutrition Education for Primary Schoolchildren in India. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2017, 49(3); pp.264-267
  31. Sabbithi A, Reddi SL, Naveen Kumar R, Bhaskar V, SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu & Vemula SR. Identifying critical risk practices among street food handlers. British Food Journal, 2017; 119 (2); 390-400.
  32. Bhaskarachary K, Vemula SR, Gavaravarapu SM, Joshi AK. Traditional Foods, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, 2016: 82 (5); 1565-1577.
  33. Reddi SL, Kumar RN, SubbaRao GM, Rao MV, Sudershan RV. (2016). Bacteriological quality of drinking water at point of use and hand hygiene of primary food preparers: implications for household food safety. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. 2016 Jun 1; 6(2):224-30.
  34. Yella R, Kumar RN, Vemula SR, Nagalla B, Gavaravarapu SM*. Food Safety in Domestic Refrigerators-A Mixed Methods Study to Identify Key Messages for Promoting Safe Storage Practices among Households. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016 Mar 1;53(1):1-4.
  35. Gavaravarapu SM*, Rao KM, Nagalla B, & Avula L (2015). Assessing Differences in Risk Perceptions About Obesity Among “Normal-Weight” and “Overweight” Adolescents–A Qualitative Study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2015. 47(6):488-97.
  36. Gavaravarapu SM, & Nair KM. From farm to plate & beyond-A culture & context sensitive perspective for food safety. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 2015; 141(4), 377.
  37. Konapur A, Gavaravarapu SM, Gupta S, Nair KM. Millets in Meeting Nutrition Security: Issues and Way Forward for India. Indian Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics, 2014; 51(3):306-321.
  38. Maheshwar Mekam, Gavaravarapu SM, venkaiah K, Raghunatha Rao D. The quality of nutrition research reporting by leading daily newspapers in India. Journal of Media and Communication Studies, 2014; 6(6):92-98.
  39. Boddula S, Sudershan RV, Balakrishna N, Saha S and Gavaravarapu SM*. Food Risk Perceptions of Women in Rural and Urban Households- A Study in India. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 2014, 4(4): 380-391
  40. Gavaravarapu SM* and Pavarala V. Communicating Nutrition in Community Settings- Case Studies in Critical Examination of Institutional Approaches in India. Journal of Creative Communications, 2014, 9(1):23-48.
  41. Gavaravarapu SM*, Smith KC, Rimal RN. A case for refining the WHO Global Strategy on Food Safety: Perspectives from India. The Lancet Global Health, 2013, 1(5): e254-e255.
  42. Vemula SR, Gavaravarapu SM, Rao MVV, Mathur P, Laxmaiah A. Knowledge and Practices of Using Food Label Information Among Adolescents Attending Schools in Kolkata, India. Public Health Nutrition, Available online first: doi:10.1017/S1368980013002231
  43. Saha S, Sudershan RV, Rao MVV and Gavaravarapu SM*. Knowledge and Practices of Using Food Label Information Among Adolescents Attending Schools in Kolkata, India. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior., 2013; 45(6): 773-779.
  44. Gavaravarapu SM. Knowledge Translation—Some Perspectives for Nutrition Education and Communication. Journal of nutrition. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2013; 45(4): e5-e5.
  45. Gavaravarapu SM*. Group Quiz: A Tool for Nutrition Education and Self-assessment. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2013; 45 (4): 32-35.
  46. Gavaravarapu SM*, Sudershan RV, Laxmaiah A. Food labeling in india-a study on current scenario of regulation, compliance by industry and consumer perceptions. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2013; 63:828. (Abstract)
  47. Maheshwar M, SubbaRao GM, Rao DR. Evaluation of nutrition and reports based on research studies in popular Indian newspapers. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2013: 63 (Suppl. 1); 841. (Abstract)
  48. Sudershan RV, SubbaRao GM, Rao MVV, Sivakumar B & Polasa K. Mapping priorities for promoting food safety in Indian households through development and validation of integrated scores based on key determinants. Annals Nutrition and Metabolism, 2013, 63 (suppl 1). (Abstract)
  49. SubbaRao GM*, Vijayapushpam T, Venkaiah K and Pavarala V. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of nutrition and food safety information in school science textbooks of India. Health Education Journal. 2012: 71(6); 725-735
  50. SubbaRao GM*. Knowledge sharing and knowledge translation – New perspectives in communication for dietetics. Journal of Indian Dietetic Association. 2012; 36S: 36-37.
Total number of books and book chapters: 11 ; Edited
  1. Ravindra K Vemula & SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu (Eds.). Health Communication in the changing media landscape: Perspectives from developing countries. 2016. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  2. Bhaskarachary K, Sudershan RV and SubbaRao GM (Eds.) A Handbook for Tomorrow’s Dietitians. Hyderabad: AP Chapter of the Indian Dietetic Association. 2008.
  3. Bhaskarachary K, Sudershan RV and Subba Rao GM (Eds.) Concepts and Skills for Practical Dietetics. Hyderabad: AP Chapter of the Indian Dietetic Association. 2010.
  1. Longavh T, SubbaRao GM, Uday Kumar P. NIN@100 - Empowering the Nation through Nutrition - NIN Centenary Book (ISBN - 978-81-910091-8-7). 2017. Hyderabad: National Institute of Nutrition.
  2. SubbaRao GM and Sesikeran B. NIN: 1918-2011 - Nine Decades of Leadership in Nutrition (ISBN- 978-93-5267-678-1). National Institute of Nutrition: Hyderabad. Book released by Union Minister for Health and family Welfare during ICMR centenary year celebrations in New Delhi on 15th November 2011.
Awards and Honours


1. Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), 2021

2. Fellow of Royal Society of Public Health, UK, 2019


3. VN Patwardhan Prize for excellence in Nutrition related areas from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

4. ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) International Fellowship for Young Scientists 2012 - 3 month tenure at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. Jan - April 2013

5. Finalist and runner-up in the NASI-SCOPUS Young Scientists Awards 2014 in Social Sciences


6. Mid-career Award in Nutrition Education & Behavior Science Section from American Society for Nutrition, 2020

7. Silver Author Recognition Award from Journal of Nutrition Education Behavior (Elsevier Journal with IF - 2.869) for frequency and excellence in manuscripts, for 3 consecutive years - 2018, 2019 & 2020

8. Platinum City Strategist Award 2009 from Foundation for Futuristic Cities, Hyderabad for developing a strategy on streamlining street food vending in Hyderabad.

9. JN Bose Memorial Award for Community Nutrition - 2008 from the Indian Dietetic Association.

10. Young Scientist Award in Community Nutrition from Nutrition Society of India in 2004


11. Asian Editor for American Journal of Health Behavior since 2013-2021 (Impact Factor - 1.176)

12. Chair, Health Communication Working Group, International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) 2016 - till date

13. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior (2011-17 &2020-23)

14. Treasurer, Nutrition Society of India (NSI), 2015 - till date

15. Review Editor for ‘Frontiers in Communication’ Journal, 2016- till date

  1. Member, Scientific Panel on Food Labelling and Claims/Advertisements, Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  2. Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior for a three year term starting Jan 2020.
  3. Member, Technical Advisory Group, A Scalable Programme IncorpoRating Early child development interventions (ASPIRE) undertaken by UNICEF HFO, Sangath, and WCD Telangana.
  4. Elected as Chair, Health Communication Working Group, International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) for a 4 year term – 2019-2023.
  5. Member, Departmental Committee, Department of Communication, SN School, University of Hyderabad
  6. Chair, Health Communication & Change Working Group of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) (2015- 2019).
  7. Treasurer, Nutrition Society of India (NSI) for 4 year term 2015-2019.
  8. Asian Editor for American Journal of Health Behavior since 2013 (Impact Factor – 1.176)
  9. Served on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (2011- 2018).