The last three decades have brought about globalized systems of food production and trade along with rapid urbanization and the expansion of retail markets. Together, these changes contribute to the ongoing modification and displacement of food environments in low- and middle-income countries. Individuals are now faced with complex decisions about what, where, how, when, and for whom to produce, obtain, prepare, distribute, and consume food, but decision-making is poorly understood in the context of the rapidly changing food environment. A holistic understanding of decision-making around food choice is needed to facilitate actions that will lead to improved diets for optimal health and well-being at the individual, household, community, and population levels.
The purpose of the Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) competitive grants program is to facilitate, synthesize and disseminate research to provide a deep understanding of the drivers of food choice among the poor in developing countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa that account for 90% of the global burden of undernutrition. The projects that were funded through this grants program aim to strengthen country-level leadership in nutrition and foster a global community of food choice researchers.
Ongoing DFC research
The DFC competitive grants program funded 15 research projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia across two rounds of funding. Projects funded in Round 1 are ending in calendar year 2019; projects funded in Round 2 will end in calendar year 2020.
The fifteen projects address the questions of what, how, and why food choices are made – the heart of the science of food choice – and examine one or more topics within the following categories of drivers: 1) sociocultural drivers, 2) food environment and food system drivers, and 3) policy, program, and intervention drivers.
Ultimately, the research findings generated through our program will provide valuable insights for policymakers and global health specialists to devise nutrition and health policies that better serve the rapidly changing population health needs in LMICs.
A research brief featuring a comprehensive overview of the DFC competitive grants program can be found here.
Read our latest blog posts about DFC projects here.