Geographies of Food Consumption
Geographies of Food Consumption (GOF)
Diet-related non-communicable diseases (D-NCDs) are a major public health issue and leading cause of disability and death worldwide. D-NCDs are caused by a poor nutritional intake and energy imbalance where energy intake (food consumption) exceeds energy expenditure (physical activity). Although the cause of D-NCDs is complex and multi-factorial, the abundant availability of unhealthy food in the ‘obesogenic’ food environment is an important contributor to the epidemic: it is all too easy to choose unhealthy foods over healthy foods.
On population level, changes in the food environment have led to a shift in dietary patterns; We consume more saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, sodium than thirty years ago and our overall energy intake increased. It is however less clear how the food environment exactly impacts on individual food choices and health.
The GOF research projects has three aims.
- To explore the consumer and community food environment in the Netherlands.
- To examine associations between food environmental exposures and health or food choices (purchases/consumption).
- To better understand individual factors (e.g. food literacy, stress, financial restrain) affecting the environment-diet relationship.
To address these objectives, both cohort and new (real-time) studies will be conducted.
For example, to address the second objective, GOF put environmental exposures along people’s mobility throughout the day central (using global positioning systems) in the FOOD-TRACK study, which is currently conducted among 25-45 year old participants in the Netherlands.
The GOF research project is led by dr. Maartje Poelman and is hosted by the Utrecht University, the Netherlands. This project has received funding from the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (#451-16-029), financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.