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  4. Grappling with complex realities: designing food interventions to work in context?




Grappling with complex realities: designing food interventions to work in context?




Please note this webinar will take place via Zoom.

Speaker: Meena Daivadanam, Uppsala University, Sweden

The degree to which interventions to influence the foods people eat are effective, typically depends on their fit to the context in which they are delivered and the population they target. Contexts modify the impact of interventions, and the target population - their food-related practices and other cultural and social norms and personal factors – influence if they adopt them or not. If they are to work, interventions – including policies – need to be designed based on an understanding of both.

In her Food Thinkers talk, Dr Meena Daivadanam will provide examples of how interventions can be re-shaped and re-sized to be more effective in context and for the target population.  She will talk about how to filter the  hard-scientific evidence with numbers and percentages through appropriate context and target population lenses so interventions can be re-shaped and re-sized into different strategies - converting recommended servings of fruits and vegetables into local measures, or gamifying healthy or unhealthy foods.

During this translation, there is always some loss in terms of details or accuracy and some gain in terms of fit or applicability. Meena will talk about the role of formative research in aiding this process: how are food decisions made; who makes them; what is good food? Obtaining these answers require the active participation of, or consultation with relevant stakeholders, including members of the target population. She will present some examples from research projects in India, Sweden and Sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda and South Africa), where contexts shaped the interventions and interventions were in turn re-shaped to fit the population it was intended for.

Meena Daivadanam is a senior lecturer and associate professor at the Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics at Uppsala University and affiliated to the Department of Global Public Health at Karolinska Institutet and the International Maternal and Child Health division at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at Uppsala University. She is a medical doctor in terms of basic training and has a PhD in public health interventions.

She primarily conducts research and teaching in the field of Public Health and Nutrition, with a special focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Meena works with intervention and implementation research, particularly community-based complex interventions for NCDs. Her experience includes working with dietary and other NCD prevention interventions in India (Kerala) and self-management support interventions in Sweden, South Africa and Uganda. She also works with evaluating and understanding food and physical activity environments and behaviours and the interactions between the two.

The talk will be followed by an online Q&A session.

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When and where

5.15pm - 6.45pmThursday 24th September 2020

Contact Details

City Events Team

+44 (0)20 7040 8037

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