Online Program

Democratizing information: Communities and Scientists as Partners in Securing Healthier Food

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Pallavi Phartiyal, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA
Food policy councils (FPCs) are forming and organizing all over the country to help transform the food environments for their communities. To assess the involvement of subject matter experts and the utilization of existing research and data by FPCs as well as to identify their scientific needs, we surveyed over 100 council members in the United States and Canada. 

Roughly sixty percent of survey respondents indicated they have included technical experts for guidance on technical topics. A majority of these experts were researchers, scientists or academics. Food councils are creative in the various ways they engage researchers and scientists, for example, to find out about latest development in food research, help develop policy solutions, and to help fill in research or data gaps. Respondents also identified barriers they face in accessing scientific and public health information. These range from constraints on time, resources and funding to the history of broken-down communication and mistrust between community groups and researchers. They underscored the lack of internal capacity to collect scientific data, the time needed to analyze and discuss data and its implications, lack of availability of data, lack of access to scientific academic journals and databases, and nature of research such that the time for data compilation and synthesis is much longer than is needed for relevant, policy-applicable information.

The speaker will discuss best practices to create and promote ways for researchers and public health professionals to meaningfully and productively to collaborate with food policy councils to advance a healthier food environment.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Formulate and discuss their experiences and practices of working with food policy councils. Assess and define how to serve as partners in their communities’ efforts establishing on healthy food policies.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with scientists and community leaders to catalyze food policy reform at the local level. I have surveyed food policy councils on their research and technical expert needs and plan to facilitate collaborative partnerships between the two groups.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.