Blessing Taiwo

Thesis title:

Social institutions of local markets to drive dietary changes in at-risk communities


Markets are community health assets where traders sell a variety of cheap, fresh produce. Ethnic minorities and economically disadvantaged groups often purchase food from local markets offering affordable and culturally familiar foods. There is untapped potential to promote public health in a novel and unique way by working with local markets.The aim of Blessing’s research is to explore the potential for local markets to promote sustainable healthy eating among communities at risk of nutrition related disease with a particular emphasis on exploring how best to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce the consumption of sugar, salt and fats. Project methods will include: a review of the literature on market-based nutrition related public heath interventions to refine the research questions. A mapping exercise to identify local markets within proximity of deprived neighbourhoods. Concept mapping workshops will be conducted in each market to develop a conceptual (logic) model of implementation. A stakeholder panel will be recruited by purposive sampling to take part in semi-structured interviews, the concept mapping exercise and to advise throughout on the process of intervention development. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis will then be used to visually summarise the relationships among the strategies. Intervention development & evaluation will use the findings from the concept mapping.Blessing will collaborate with KCL Science Gallery to develop the digitalised materials. Small scale testing of delivery will be explored with 2 traders (e.g. fruit and vegetable trader, barber) over a 10-week period. Qualitative interviews and digital questionnaires will provide in-depth information on the effectiveness of the intervention. Process and outcome measures will use the RE-AIM framework (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance). It will be important to evaluate the potential support of partners for sustainability.

First supervisor:

Seeromanie Harding


3 – Health, Biopolitics & Social Inequality