News

MSc colloquium by Jente Fabriek entitled ‘Who dares to tackle our wickedly obesogenic food environment?'

Published on
March 9, 2020
A comparative case study of policy approaches targeting the unhealthy food environment of municipalities in the Netherlands

You are hereby cordially invited to the MSc thesis presentation by Jente Fabriek entitled ‘Who dares to tackle our wickedly obesogenic food environment? A comparative case study of policy approaches targeting the unhealthy food environment of municipalities in the Netherlands’.

Supervisor: Jeroen Candel
Examinor: Katrien Termeer
Date: 18 March 2020
Time: 10.45-11.45 hours
Location: room 3029, Leeuwenborch, Wageningen

 

Abstract:

Nowadays, partly due to the increasingly abundant availability of unhealthy food in our environment, more and more people are suffering from obesity and obesity related diseases. Furthermore, municipalities are increasingly viewed as crucial actors within addressing contemporary food issues, since they can form the testing ground for new food policy. Over the years this has resulted in local governments attempting to implement public health policies to cope with this development, and to address modern obesogenic food environments. Little research has yet been focusing on local public health policy addressing the food environment, and therefore this research has explored the question: ‘How do Dutch municipalities’ local food policies currently address altering the food environment to achieve healthier diets for citizens? This study has used an ecological conceptual approach of the food environments to review and compare the food environment policy approaches of the five Dutch municipalities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Ede. Firstly, it addresses the goals and instruments used within the municipalities’ food environment approaches. Secondly, it reviews the food environment support systems that characterise these food environment approaches. Conclusions that can be drawn from this research are that local actors do express a want to alter food environments to positively affects people’s diets, however, municipalities possess limited resources to do so, and intend not to use very coercive instruments. Additionally successful food environment implementation relies strongly on policy support systems, such as political commitment, integrated municipal support and participatory governance. To tackle systemically engrained food issues, potential lies therefore in a policy approach which is targeted, includes multiple-actors and is integrated within several policy levels and domains.

 

Key words: Food environment policy, Food environments, public policy, food policy, food system transformation, local governance, obesogenic environments