Alessandro Demaio

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Alessandro Rhyl Demaio (born 1985) is an Australian medical doctor, writer, global health expert and television host known for his work on non-communicable diseases. Demaio is currently the co-host of Ask the Doctor has founded and co-founded several organizations, including NCDFREE, festival21 and the Sandro Demaio Foundation.[1][2][3] He was

Alessandro Demaio
BornApril 17, 1985
Melbourne, Australia
🏳️ NationalityAustralian
🏫 EducationMonash University (MPH, MD), University of Copenhagen (PhD), Harvard University (PostDoc)
💼 Occupation
Physician, television host, author, public health expert
TitleCEO of Vic Health
🌐 Website

formerly a Medical Officer for Noncommunicable Conditions and Nutrition at the World Health Organization and the CEO of the EAT Foundation and begin serving as the CEO of Vic Health in late 2019.[4][5]

Education an Career[edit]

Sandro was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Sandro trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. While practicing as a doctor he completed a Master in Public Health at Monash University including research fieldwork in Cambodia.[6]

In 2010, he relocated to Denmark where he completed a PhD with the University of Copenhagen, focusing on non-communicable diseases. His doctoral research was based in Mongolia, working with the Ministry of Health where he designed, led and reported a national epidemiological survey, sampling more than 3500 households.

Sandro held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School from 2013 to 2015, and was Assistant Professor and a Course Director in Global Health at the Copenhagen School of Global Health, in Denmark.[7]

From 2015 until 2018, Sandro was Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the global headquarters of the World Health Organization. He provided technical advice and oversaw normative products relating to the management of child obesity, early nutrition, and the double burden of malnutrition. He was also technical lead for the 2019 Lancet series on the double burden of malnutrition.

Between 2018 and July 2019, Sandro was Chief Executive Office of EAT, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation. He oversaw a refresh of the EAT Stockholm Food Forum over two iterations, growing the forum in size and sophistication. As CEO, he also led the launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission.[8]

Scholarship and Research[edit]

To date, Sandro has published more than 30 scientific publications and 90 articles.[9]Entry at ORCID

In 2012, he founded the PLOS Blog “Global Health” and was Editor-in-Chief until 2019. Sandro currently holds fellowships at both the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Liveable Futures at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Pro bono and philanthropic work[edit]

In 2013 and together with his designer brother, Sandro co-founded NCDFREE, a global social movement against non-communicable diseases using social media, short film and leadership events – reaching more than 2.5 million people in its first 18 months.[10]

In 2015, he founded festival21, assembling and leading a team in staging a massive and unprecedented, free celebration of community, food, culture and future in his hometown Melbourne.[11]  

In 2018 and funded through his media work with ABC TV and Pan MacMillan publishers, Sandro established an independent, not-for-profit foundation focused on improving the health and nutrition of Australians. The Sandro Demaio Foundation is headquartered in Northcote, Australia and is led by Ms Natalie Molino and a local team.

festival21 was held again in 2019. Led by Sandro's foundation and their volunteers, the festival was held at the Melbourne Meat Market and attracted more than 2,500 people over its two days.


Between 2012 and 2016, Sandro was a regular columnist with The Conversation and Huffington Post.[12][13]

In 2018, Sandro authored the Doctor's Diet, a cookbook based on science and his love of food.[14]

Dr Sandro currently co-hosts the ABC television show Ask the Doctor– an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting weekly across Australia, and around the world on Netflix In its second season, 24 episodes have been made.[15][16]

He is also a regular contributor to ABC Life and regularly appears on podcasts and radio, including Radio National The British Journal of Sports Medicine, The Lancet, The Food Medic and The Doctor's Kitchen.[17][18] Demaio recently launched a podcast, "In Good Health," in partnership with Bupa and the Sandro Demaio Foundation.[19][20]

External Links[edit]


  1. Delaney, Brigid (2017-07-04). "Ask the Doctor: does medical myth-busting need to be so gimmicky?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  2. "TV series caters to growing appetite for medical advice". The West Australian. 2017-05-16. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  3. "Festival21". Broadsheet. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  4. "Dr Sandro Demaio appointed VicHealth CEO".
  5. "Dr. Alessandro Demaio". EAT. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  6. "Alessandro Demaio". Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  7. Webmaster (2008-03-10). "Staff". Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  8. "A Roadmap to a Healthy & Sustainable Future". EAT. 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  9. "Alessandro R Demaio - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  10. ncdsimon. "About Us". NCD Free. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  11. "Sandro Demaio Isn't Here to Preach". Broadsheet. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  12. "Sandro Demaio". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  13. "Alessandro Demaio | HuffPost". Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  14. "The Doctor's Diet - Pan Macmillan AU". Pan Macmillan Australia. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  15. "Ask The Doctor". ABC iview. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  16. Knox, David. "Ask the Doctor | TV Tonight". Retrieved 2020-05-11. External link in |website= (help)
  17. "The Double Burden of Malnutrition". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  18. Branca, Francesco; Demaio, Alessandro; Udomkesmalee, Emorn; Baker, Phillip; Aguayo, Victor M.; Barquera, Simon; Dain, Katie; Keir, Lindsay; Lartey, Anna; Mugambi, Gladys; Oenema, Stineke (2020-01-04). "A new nutrition manifesto for a new nutrition reality". The Lancet. 395 (10217): 8–10. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32690-X. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 31852600.
  19. "Bupa launches In Good Health podcast in partnership with the Sandro Demaio Foundation". Mumbrella. 2020-03-05. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  20. "Bupa and Sandro Demaio launch new food podcast". Bupa and Sandro Demaio launch new food podcast. Retrieved 2020-05-11.

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