Webinar: Understanding how and why people make food choices in LMIC for promotion of sustainable healthy diets

Date and Time: 

Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 13:00 to 14:30

Location: 

Virtual - time indicated in GMT


Click here to view the recording


Join us for webinar #1 in our series on Drivers of food choice in low- and middle-income countries: a synthesis of evidence

Webinar #1 | Webinar #2 | (More information to come about: Webinar #3 | Webinar #4)

Speakers: Helen Walls, Mirriam Matita, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck and Christine Blake

Moderator: Edward A Frongillo

Date: Thursday 14 January 2021

Time: 08:00 New York / 13:00 GMT / 14:00 Rome / 16:00 Addis / 18:30 Delhi / 20:00 Jakarta / 21:00 Beijing


Food choice involves the processes by which people consider, acquire, prepare, distribute, and consume foods and beverages. Viewing nutrition and health outcomes through the lens of food choice ties individual perceptions and behaviors to food environments and food systems. People are the key element of any food system, and their interaction with the food environment is a focal point for understanding what, how, and why people eat. The food environment both shapes and is shaped by individual food choices. The DFC portfolio has generated key insights into the drivers of food choice behaviors across diverse settings in LMICs, along with compelling new directions for research focused on understanding the relationships between food environments, food choice, and health outcomes.

This webinar will include 3 presentations about selected projects to illustrate key findings on drivers of food choice at the individual and household levels with an emphasis on the dynamic and reciprocal relationship with the food environment:

  1. Christine E Blake, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina:
    Key learnings from Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants program
  2. Mirriam Matita, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Department of Economics, University of Malawi, and Helen Walls, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:
    Household participation in food markets and dietary diversity: evidence from rural Malawi
  3. Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, Environmental Policy, Wageningen University:
    Transformations of the food retail environment and dynamics in food consumption of low-income urbanites: evidence from Vietnam

Speaker bios can be found below. Presentations will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A discussion session.

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About the Drivers of food choice in low- and middle-income countries: a synthesis of evidence webinar series

Global food systems are altering local food environments that serve as the contexts of food choice, defined as the processes by which people consider, acquire, prepare, distribute, and consume foods and beverages. The purpose of the Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Program is to generate evidence to understand how people make food choices in local food environments, specifically what, how, and why people eat the way they do among low- and middle-income countries. The DFC program funded projects that applied multi-disciplinary perspectives and methods across highly diverse settings and populations in 10 LMICs. The webinar series will aim to disseminate important findings that have emerged from the DFC portfolio regarding drivers of individual and household food choice in changing food environments and foster discussion around next steps for scale-up and application of insights and innovations from the portfolio. The thematic areas of this webinar series articulate with prominent issues and questions currently confronting policy, practice, and research at the nexus of food environments, nutrition, and health. Webinars will showcase the critical contributions of the DFC portfolio in advancing discussions around these areas. 


Resources

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Format

The webinar will last 90 minutes, including a presentation and discussion session.


Speakers

Christine E Blake is Associate Professor at Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, SC, USA. She is a public health nutrition scientist and principal investigator of the Drivers of Food Choice Program. Dr. Blake is an international expert on food choice who has conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies on the drivers of food choice in diverse populations. Her work provides understanding of contextual and cognitive factors that drive food choice with an emphasis on people and organizations that shape these behaviors in families and children.  
 

Sigrid Wertheim-Heck is professor of Food and Healthy Living at Aeres University of Applied Sciences and senior research fellow at the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University, both in the Netherlands. Her interest in global urban food security informs her research agenda on the relationship between metropolitan development, food provisioning and food consumption. With a background in consumption sociology, main areas of interest include everyday consumption practices and equitable access to sustainable, safe and healthy foods.
 

Mirriam Matita is a PhD student of Economics at Chancellor College, University of Malawi.  She is also academic staff at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi. Her research interest includes application of microeconomics, agriculture economics and econometrics in commercialization, social protection, and poverty analysis. Prior to joining the University, she worked with local and international NGOs in Malawi. She is among Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grant and Agricultural Policy Research in Africa researchers in Malawi.  She holds a Master of Arts in Economics and Bachelors’ Degree in Social Sciences from University of Malawi.  
 

Helen Walls is Associate Professor of Global Health and Food Systems in the Department of Global Health and Development at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She undertakes an interdisciplinary approach drawing on epidemiology and the social sciences to understanding the impact of and associated policy processes and governance relating to the structural determinants of population health, with a focus on food systems and nutrition. Helen is the Principal Investigator of a project funded by the Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program examining the impact of agricultural policy on food choice in rural Malawi and its wider context. 
 

Moderator

Edward A Frongillo is Professor & Director, Global Health Initiatives at Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, SC, USA. He is a global expert on food insecurity of households, adults, and children and on infant and young child feeding, growth, development, and nutrition. He is co-investigator for the Drivers of Food Choice. He has extensive experience conducting mixed-methods research and evaluation in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and in providing training and technical assistance to researchers in these countries.