11 April 2018. The second round for proposals of the Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program announced 7 new grant recipients
The grants program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid from the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health supports new research on food choice. 

Studies funded in Round 1

  1. Behavioral Drivers of Food Choice in Eastern India: International Rice Research Institute; KIIT University, India 
  2. Influence of Land Impermanence on conservation and utilization of agrobiodiversity and subsequent effect on food attitudes and consumption patterns: Trócaire; Bioversity International; Makerere University, Uganda 
  3. Drivers of Food Choice in the Context of Overweight among Women and Children in Malawi: RTI International; University of Malawi’s College of Medicine; Harvard University. 
  4. Understanding the drivers of diet change and food choice among Tanzanian pastoralists to inform policy and practice: Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University; International Livestock Research Program (ILRI); Sokoine University of Agriculture. 
  5. Dietary transitions in Ghanaian cities: mapping the factors in the social and physical food environments that drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor (EDNP) foods and beverages, to identify interventions targeting women and adolescent girls throughout the reproductive life course: School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, UK; Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, University of Ghana; Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana; Centre for Global Health and Human Development, Loughborough University; the French Agricultural Research & International Cooperative Organization; Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool, UK 
  6. From Growing Food to Growing Cash: Understanding the Drivers of Food Choice in the Context of Rapid Agrarian Change in Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research; Pennsylvania State University; University of Brawijaya, East Java, Indonesia 
  7. Do agricultural input subsidies on staples reduce dietary diversity?: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Department of Economics, University of Malawi 
  8. Retail diversity for dietary diversity. Preventing nutrition deserts for the urban poor within the transforming food retail environment in Vietnam: Fresh Studio Innovations Asia Ltd.; Bioversity International, Wageningen University, Vietnam 

Studies funded in Round 2

  1. Diet, Environment, and Choices of positive living (DECIDE study): Evaluating personal and external food environment influences on diets among PLHIV and families in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Purdue University; Africa Academy for Public Health; University of Illinois, Chicago, Tanzania
  2. Food Choice in Indian Households in the Context of the Nutrition Transition: Emory University; BLDE University; University of Southern California, India
  3. Drivers of demand for animal-source foods in low-income informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; International Livestock Research Institute; University of Nairobi, Kenya
  4. Incentivizing fruit and vegetable consumption in urbanizing India: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; National Institute of Nutrition of Indian Council of Medical Research; Public Health Foundation of India; Duke – National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School; Indian School of Business; St. John’s Research Institute, India
  5. Prospecting For Nutrition? How Natural Resource Extraction Impacts Food Choices in Marginalized Communities: Helen Keller International; Johns Hopkins University; Université Julius Nyerere, Kankan, Guinea
  6. Nudging children toward healthier food choices: An experiment combining school and home gardens:World Vegetable Center; Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources, Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops
  7. Understanding how dynamic relationships among maternal agency, maternal workload and the food environment affect food choices: Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Africa Innovations Institute; Sasakawa Global 2000, Uganda
Background:

The DFC Competitive Grants Program is a 5-year endeavor supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid from the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID) dedicated to providing evidence to guide on-going and future programs to improve food and nutrition security in LMIC. 
The submission of proposals for the 2nd Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program closed 1 April 2017.

The purpose of the Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Program was to solicit applications and select research projects for funding that will provide a deep understanding of the drivers of food choice among the poor, particularly in the 41 low- and middle-income countries that account for most of the global burden of undernutrition; strengthen country-level leadership in nutrition; and foster a global community of food-choice researchers.

Food choice research involves the study of cognitions, processes, and behaviors by which people consider, select, prepare, distribute, and consume foods and beverages. The overarching question addressed in studies of food choice is, “why do individuals eat the foods they do?” Understanding the drivers of food choice necessitates the study of interconnected biological, psychological, economic, social, cultural, and political factors. Food choice is integral to social and economic expression of identities, preferences, and cultural meanings and ultimately influences nutrient intake and health. Understanding how changes in drivers of food choice differentially impact household members, particularly women and children, is important for designing interventions that improve the well-being of all, including the most vulnerable.

Related:
 25-29 June 2018. Accra, Ghana. The 2018 ANH (Agriculture, Nutrition and Health) Academy Week. 
The ANH Academy builds on the successful legacy of five agri-health research conferences organised in London by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH); as well as ongoing events and activities coordinated under the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), which is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

This post was originally published at PAEPARD by François Stepman. It has been republished here with permission.

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