Over the last three decades, with increased retail modernization, food choices in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have significantly expanded. As food markets reach all corners of the globe, people are faced with countless options about where, how, why, when, and for whom to purchase, distribute, and consume food. A seemingly simple decision about what to eat and how to prepare it may consist of several interrelated biological, cultural, social, economic, psychological, political, and interpersonal processes and factors that are poorly understood in the context of nutrition and public health.
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.
Read our latest blog posts about DFC projects here.