We’re thrilled to announce that MoreLife is involved with a research project taking part across the UK. Its aim is to make healthy food choices more accessible for the people who live with obesity. Never has this research been more important with the cost of living crisis.

MoreLife as a leading UK Weight Management Company is uniquely placed to support this research through the engagement with our client and following their insights. Alongside working with researchers and our clinicians to design practical solutions.

Cutting edge research is a fundamental part of who we are and we can’t wait to get started on this.

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute have been awarded £2m funding for crucial research which will improve sustainable and healthier food choices for people living with obesity and food insecurity.

The collaborative study will for the first time, bring together consumers, policy makers, charities, food producers, processors and retailers, as well as expert academics to co-develop and test strategies that can support future transformative potential in the food system.

Funded by the UKRI, BBSRC, the project will investigate consumer habits, covering a broad cross-section of consumers and will consider how issues around poverty, food insecurity and obesity may affect shopping habits.

With improved health outcomes and the natural environment at its core, the 3-year study will involve a collaboration for the first time with Sainsbury’s supermarket, one of the UK’s biggest food retailers.

Using data gathered from the Sainsbury’s nectar reward cards of around 1.6 million shoppers, researchers will analyse food choices in a bid to improve understanding of food systems in the UK and provide evidence for supporting policy changes about retail strategies.

Professor Alexandra Johnstone of the Rowett Institute, who is leading the project, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis it is only going to get harder for people to make healthy food choices. For families on low incomes, 76% of monthly food budgets are spent in supermarkets, so the decisions the retail food sector make around advertising, promotions and store design has a huge impact on public health within this vulnerable group.

“We know that 63% of adults in England are living with obesity or are overweight – conditions which are major contributors of health conditions including heart conditions, and Type 2 diabetes, – and this is higher in areas of deprivation. Those living with obesity or who are overweight have to spend a higher proportion of their income on food which makes choices very difficult.

“For this study we will recruit participants from across the UK and those participants will be sharing their experience of living with obesity and food insecurity. We will also be analysing UK consumers’ food experiences in a variety of ways including focus groups, an online survey, a national digital intervention study, and accessing 1.6 million shopper records to apply a ‘Big Data’ approach.

“This will allow us to develop practical solutions to promote sustainable and healthy food choices for this group of people.

“It is incredibly exciting to be involved in this project and I very much look forward to working with this excellent team on this extremely important topic.”

MoreLife CEO, Paul Gately, said, “A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be a luxury. It’s great to be involved with this research project, I believe it can make a big difference in changing the UK food system for the better and most importantly for MoreLife helping us continue to change the lives of people living with obesity.”

“I believe it can make a big difference in changing the UK food system”

Professor Paul Gately

The funding, which has been awarded to 11 research projects, is the latest investment made by UK Research and Innovation as part of its Transforming UK Food Systems Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Programme.

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