Exploring readiness and interventions for a diet lower in red and processed meat among lower socio-economic status populations in the UK

Lead Supervisor: Prof Michelle Holdsworth, ScHARR
Co-supervisor: David Evans, Prof of Human Geography, Department of Geography

Deadline: Monday 26th March 2018

Project Description
Aim: This PhD will explore drivers of red and processed meat consumption in lower socioeconomic groups in the UK for purposes of: reducing the environmental impact of the diet, improving dietary quality and reducing health inequalities.

Methods:
This PhD would comprise 3 studies:

These insights will be used to identify targeted public health interventions to reduce consumption of red and processed meat consumption in lower socioeconomic groups.

This PhD will investigate local community readiness for shifts in dietary behaviour and will aim to identify interventions to be implemented within a public setting (e.g. local football club or public-sector catering). Longstanding issues of overweight/obesity and an increased prevalence of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases are now compounded by the need for a population diet with a smaller environmental footprint (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, water use, land use, and soil management) than that of current dietary patterns.  In particular, food from animal sources (especially red and processed meat), is linked both to an increased environmental footprint, and to higher rates of morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of these nutrition-related non-communicable diseases is disproportionally high in lower socioeconomic groups. Related to this, evidence suggests that people in lower socioeconomic groups consume red and processed meat in larger quantities and more often. Therefore, investigating these factors and identifying effective interventions for shifting dietary practices in lower socioeconomic populations is essential in order to address both a reduction in environmental impact of diet, and also to improve health inequalities within the social gradient.

Within UK-based populations, there is little evidence related to attitudes in low socioeconomic populations regarding their readiness for, and perceived barriers to, change in diet to reduce environmental impact, and whether views may be related to reasons regarding environmental, health or other concerns (e.g., animal welfare). Understanding individual and community readiness for reduction of red and processed meat is an important first step in developing interventions aimed at improving these dietary behaviours.

Keywords: Public Health & Epidemiology, Food Science and Nutrition

Funding notes
This four-year studentship will be fully funded at Home/EU or international rates. Support for travel and consumables (RTSG) will also be made available at standard rate of £2,627 per annum, with an additional one-off allowance of £1,000 for a computer in the first year.  Students will receive an annual stipend of £17,336.  Applications should be received and complete by Monday 26th March 2018.

What to include in the application
Your application for this studentship should be accompanied by i. your CV; ii. a 200 word supporting statement outlining your aspirations and motivation for studying in the Grantham Centre, outlining any relevant experience; and iii. a 300 word supporting statement outlining your motivation for this specific PhD topic and summarising your experience of evidence synthesis, qualitative research methods and intervention mapping to improve both public health nutrition and environmental sustainability.

Please select ‘Standard PhD’ and the department of this project’s lead supervisor. Fill in the title of your desired project and the name(s) of the supervisors. The starting date of the PhD will be the start of the next academic year – 1 Oct 2018. The ’Funding stage’ on the form will be ’project studentship’.

What to include in the application
Your application for this studentship should be accompanied by a CV and a 200 word supporting statement. Your statement should outline your aspirations and motivation for studying in the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. You should also outline any relevant experience and interests that you have in sustainability issues.

Please select ‘Standard PhD’ and the department of this project’s lead supervisor. Fill in the title of your desired project and the name(s) of the supervisors. The starting date of the PhD will be the start of the next academic year – 1 Oct 2018. The ‘Funding stage’ on the form will be ‘project studentship’.