There is growing evidence that greater consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) is associated with increased risk of a range of non-communicable diseases. To date, much dietary public health policy in the UK and elsewhere has focused on changing population consumption of particular nutrients (e.g. salt, sugar) or food groups (e.g. fruit and vegetables), rather than food types defined by the nature and extent of their production and processing. The lens of UPF offers a number of opportunities and challenges to dietary public health policy.
This PhD will explore potential dietary public health policy responses to UPF. Driven by the interests of the appointed student and emerging national and international policy, potential component projects might include:
- evidence synthesis to understand the extent and scope of current national and international policy with the potential to impact on consumption of UPF
- qualitative work with policy, advocacy and industry stakeholders exploring whether UPF are considered high-priority for action, possible strategies to address them and the perceived pros and cons of each
- quantitative work modelling the health impacts of potential interventions such as a tax on UPF
- evaluative work examining the impacts of national and international policies that have the potential to impact on consumption of UPF