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Examining how efforts to promote healthy eating to UK children can meet the needs of those at risk of food insecurity


   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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  Dr C Holley, Dr E Haycraft  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project details

Children’s vegetable consumption is consistently low, with only 25% of UK children consuming the recommended daily target.

Considerable research has been conducted on the ways in which children’s diet can be improved, including looking at the feeding practices which parents use with their children. However, this research has typically been conducted with relatively well-off UK samples. Alongside this food insecurity has become increasingly prevalent, resulting in many UK children living on a restricted diet with poor variety and widening inequality in access to and consumption of a healthy diet.

Currently little is known about the impact of food insecurity on children’s eating behaviour, or the feeding practices which their parents use.

Nationwide programmes have emerged that aim to address food insecurity for children living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage in the UK but understanding of the impact of these on improving children’s dietary intake and development of eating behaviours is limited. Moreover, there is a lack of research examining how public health intervention programmes can best serve those children at risk of food insecurity and from underreached communities.

The current project aims to: (1) explore the role of food insecurity in the relationships between parental feeding practices and children’s dietary variety in the UK; (2) Identify the challenges faced by UK healthy eating interventions seeking to target all children; (3) Understand how such interventions can overcome these challenges in order to reach these at-risk children. The project will combine both quantitative methods (including secondary analysis of large UK datasets) and qualitative methods (including focus group).

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the drop-down below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology or a related subject with a focus on behaviour. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Psychology, Health Psychology, Public Health, Nutrition and others. Please note, a background solely in food science or similar is not sufficient for this position, where applicants need to have an understanding of the human behaviour.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/CH in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.


Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £16,062 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. International students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee Only.
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