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Reframing responsibility through public empowerment: proposing the ‘FoodEnviroScan’ app to unmask unfair environmental cues influencing poor diets


Dr Nestor Serrano-Fuentes. Senior Research Fellow. School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton.

Dr Lyn Ellett. Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. School of Psychology. University of Southampton.

Prof Mari Carmen Portillo. Professor of Long-Term Conditions. School of Health Sciences University of Southampton.

Prof Janis Baird. Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre, University of Southampton.

Prof Christina Vogel. Deputy Director, Centre for Food Policy City, University of London.



Peter Rhodes (potential support). Senior Programme Manager, Industry and Innovations (AHSN).

Jessica Berry (potential support). Personalised Care Programme (ICS).

Dr Alexandra Mant (potential support). Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration Manager at the University of Southampton.

Dr Lindsay Welch. Clinical associate professor at the University of Bournemouth. Previous Program Lead Health Inequalities (Health Innovation Wessex)

Starts: 27th February 2023

Ends: 30th September 2024


Our cities have changed a lot since the 1960s. One of the biggest changes is that there are now a lot more places to buy unhealthy fast food and sugary drinks, like takeaway shops. The food and drink companies have also used clever marketing strategies so we buy more of their products. Some of their strategies are hard to spot, but they have impacted people living in poorer areas the most. For example, these people might see a lot more ads and deals for fast food and junk food around where they live and work.


Research shows that the best way to improve our diets is to have stronger rules for how the food industry is allowed to advertise to us. But currently there are not many policies like this. And there is not much public support for stronger rules either. That is because many people still think it's up to them alone to eat healthily.


We want to talk to the public to discuss how we can get more public attention on the power big food companies have. We also want to talk about what else we as a society can do to put more pressure on the food industry to change. We are also interested in whether new technologies could help with these goals.

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