ScHARR to lead international research into dietary changes

An international team of researchers, led by ScHARR's Prof Michelle Holdsworth, is investigating what drives unhealthy dietary changes in order to prevent diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.


The pioneering project will investigate dietary transitions in Ghana which, like many other African countries, is currently experiencing rapid change partly driven by increasing migration to cities.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Ghana, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana , Loughborough University, University of Liverpool, and the French Agricultural Research & International Cooperative Organization (CIRAD).

The project is funded by a grant from the Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Programme which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development (DFID), and managed by the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, USA.

Diets are changing globally and dietary transition is now happening in most cities of the global south, including countries in Africa, Central and Latin America and Asia, where people’s habits are changing from a traditional plant-based diet - which are healthier - to a diet that is high in processed, energy dense convenience foods, rich in fat and sugar, but poor in nutrients. Unhealthy diets are associated with the rapid rise of diet-related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and some cancers.

Professor Michelle Holdsworth, Principal investigator

We will undertake novel approaches for collecting data on food consumption and practices, and the factors associated with them.

Dr Amos Laar, lead of the study at the University of Ghana

For more details, please see University press release.