Last week Danielle travelled to Edinburgh to join the Food Stakeholder Impact Group Workshop for the UKRI funded FIO Food project which is focused on food insecurity in people living with obesity. What a fantastic event! With a significant focus on lived experience, the aim of the day was co-production of policy and clinical recommendations.
- It was brilliant to be based in a “new” place – As events often happen in London, I met new people and heard new perspectives in this different geographic location. In case you haven’t heard about it, the Good Food Nation Act is underpinning in law the work the Scottish Government is doing to improve the health of those living in Scotland. This Act requires Scottish Ministers, local authorities and health boards to set Good Food Nation Plans – including outcomes for food related-issues; policies and measures needed to assess progress. Heather Kelman, Chair of Food Standards Scotland, shared that National Good Food Nation Plan is currently out for consultation which closes on April 2024. More info is available here. We would encourage you to consider responding to this to ensure the views of nutrition experts are considered. Also – check out the walls – every single scientist looking at us in the room at the Royal Society of Edinburgh- was a woman!!! This was a first in my career and it felt amazing! Check out the video! :Inside the Royal Society of Edinburgh.MOV (sharepoint.com)You can hear more about the great work going on in Scotland in our podcast episode with Gillian Purdon – S2 E5.
- An equitable, lived experience-led approach – Speakers and attendees represented a diverse range of lived experiences and professional expertise. These included those living with obesity, experience of food insecurity, those working in clinical practice, public health, policy, academic and industry settings. Quite simply, an example of how every co-creative workshop should be introduced and delivered. Having already experienced such an approach in the research setting, the experience this week has inspired me to consider how to bring this into one of my current fields of work – AI and nutrition. Watch this space – I included this in my prompted reflections that we were encouraged to write down (see the picture above – another great detail of the day!)
- Co-production method: a simple tool that is free to access – Academic methodology can at times be overwhelming and time consuming to consider when not working within a research setting. I love a short cut – a validated one. Thus sharing this – A co-creative, dialogue based tool from EAT Forum. A free Canvas and 5 step process to enable people to connect, discuss an idea and collaborate on action.
- “Moralising food” – Two words, a deep reality and a concept that has been recurring in my head ever since. This term was used following the description of how someone felt stigmatised and was left carrying a huge emotional burden when going to the supermarket and needing to turn a blind eye to the nutrition information as their focus needed to be on affordability and avoiding waste. It is extremely encouraging to see such realities within research. Watch this space. Results will be truly insightful.
- Dignity in practice – Training exists to help treat people with dignity. How best can I approach conversations with people from all backgrounds? How can I embed dignity principles in the work I do? The Dignity in Practice project was established by Nourish Scotland and the Poverty Truth Community to help people improve current practices in the design and delivery of work focusing on food insecurity. A key point made repeatedly by the team was- pay attention to the small details. More information can be found here.
- If you have agency, use it wisely – Let’s not assume all with agency are acting with awareness. We have a collective responsibility to support informed decision making. Factors that are out of the control of the individual are critical to consider and change if we are to address our current food related issues. Are you a buyer? A marketer? Do you work in procurement? Are you CEO of a multinational company? Town planner? Why as a nutritionist am I asking you this? Because your decisions can help make a massive difference, at a scale other individuals simply do not have access to. It may be you aren’t aware of the difference you could make. If you would like to consider this more deeply, please get in touch via email@example.com