Associate Professors Alice Grønhøj and Jessica Aschemann-Witzel have received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) research grant from the Horizon 2020 EU programme.
The Danish part of the grant will be used to recruit and train two PhD students who will be working in a European multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial project entitled ‘Bringing down barriers to children’s healthy eating’. In this project and through the international network, the aim is to train a new generation of innovative and adaptable researchers, with highly specialised skills across complementary fields studying children’s food choice.
The overall aim of the research programme is to obtain a better understanding of how multiple factors act as barriers for children’s healthy eating and how to tackle them. In the programme, approaches such as social marketing and nudging strategies will be used. Furthermore, peer and family social interactions will be studied, as well as sensory and non-sensory parameters that influence what is eaten (food choice) and how much is eaten (intake), and exploiting positive sensory characteristics which can drive healthy eating through enhancing pleasure. The outcome of the programme will be proposals for innovative approaches to support children’s healthier eating, providing a strong knowledge base and clear guidance for children and parents, the general public, the food industry and EU policy makers.
The programme includes training within natural and social sciences and secondments in academic and non-academic organisations. Participating countries include France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, and the network will include affiliated, academic partner organisations such as the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, USA, and the Sensory and Consumer Science group at the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay. Non-academic organisations will also contribute to the training programme and in Denmark, Arla Foods’ Strategic Innovation Center and Kidvertising (market research agency) will host PhD students for internships through the project period. The programme is coordinated by Nofima AS in Norway.
The project is scheduled to commence early 2018 and to last for 3 years.