Fuse associate showcases world-class research at Food Matters Live

More than 13,500 experts from across the food, health and nutrition sectors attended Food Matters Live 2016 – including Fuse associate Professor Greta Defeyter.

The exhibition gave internationally renowned food scientists at Northumbria University the opportunity to share their expertise with hundreds of food sector companies and organisations. The University highlighted its world-class food science facilities and research capability to businesses, with the aim of helping organisations to access cutting-edge research and development.

Greta (pictured) and other representatives from the University’s Healthy Living Lab discussed their research initiatives relating to public health interventions, including school holiday hunger, school and community breakfast clubs, nutrition within school and the workplace, and the associations between nutrition, cognition and physical activity.

Recent research by Professor Defeyter, Director of Northumbria’s Healthy Living team, has revealed that 71 per cent of parents found it harder to make ends meet during the summer holidays compared with term-time, while 63 per cent of parents found themselves without enough money for food during the summer. A staggering 93 per cent of low income parents skip at least one meal a day to make sure their children are fed. More than 65 per cent of parents on low household incomes say they often feel isolated in the school holidays due to being unable to afford to feed their families, or go out and entertain their children.

Northumbria PhD researcher Jackie Shinwell is currently working alongside Professor Defeyter on a collaborative study with Brakes, one of the UK’s leading food wholesalers, evaluating its Meals and More holiday club programme.

Professor Defeyter said: “Research by the Healthy Living team has demonstrated that skipping meals is a very real issue for many families during holiday periods. Research currently being undertaken as part of a collaborative PhD studentship with Brakes is building on this finding by evaluating the impact of Brakes’ Meals and More initiative, which supports the provision of holiday clubs with food and enrichment activities on the health, educational attainment and social and economic well-being of child attendees, their parents and carers.

“The Phd studentship is a great first step for both parties to collaborate, to establish a rapport and develop a successful, long term relationship. Ultimately both partners benefit through mutual investment, research outputs and co-learning opportunities for the business, the student and academic supervisor.”

Northumbria’s research in the field of Psychology, which includes its work on breakfast clubs, was judged to have outstanding reach and significance for its impact on society in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise, which assesses the quality of research in UK universities.

Adapted with thanks from Northumbria University.

Last modified: Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:13:36 BST