Mapping residuals can help identify communities that are resilient: Feeding Affordance and Decent Helpings

IMD as a predictor of children’s overweight status in Doncaster communities where there were more than 75 children measured.

Data for this analysis was provided in anonymised form from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Public Health, who was the collaborator on this research application.

The aim of this research is twofold. Firstly to consider the predictors of rates of children who are overweight and obese at community level and to determine if there are contextual factors that contribute to these rates.  Secondly, the research aimed to identify communities that were performing better than would be expected so that a qualitative case study could be undertaken to try to see what might be supporting their resilience.

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The 2015 general election and its implications for food insecurity in the UK.

On Friday, 8 May 2015 I awoke to discover that not only were we not looking forward to a new coalition government in the UK, but that the overall collapse of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party has given the Conservative government a mandate in UK politics. While I, at an individual level, am likely to see some benefits from the strong neoliberalism that underpins this government’s ideology, I am concerned by the implications of this for the country more generally and particularly the nation’s poor. Indeed, I see a further deepening of the division between those who have and those who have not. As I will elaborate, this will mean the continued exponential growth in the numbers of people requiring emergency food assistance and increased numbers of children and elderly with inadequate food supply, which will also translate into higher rates of obesity, diet rated illness and malnutrition. These trends as they are situated within the current climate of neoliberal austerity will also mean that we, if we are to continue as a nation with social values (as opposed to only economic values) must find ways of filling the gap, not just for families but also for our communities. Continue reading

(Not) a middle class point of view: Bloke’s Pasta.

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Tonight, for dinner, I made a family favorite: a modified version of “Proper blokes’ sausage fusilli”.   My version is an adaptation of a recipe in Jamie Oliver’s “Cook with Jamie“, which he wrote to help people “learn to cook properly and enjoy it (back cover).” I originally purchased the book (cost $16.99–though I think I might have gotten it for less at Cosco) to give to my son so he could feel confident in a kitchen.  This dish is the one thing he has ventured from the book, though I have made many other things from it with good results.  The book was written about the time that Jamie Oliver was beginning to try to have a food revolution in the UK, certainly before he really started talking to people who might consider themselves “ordinary folk”.  As a result, the food, despite the ordinary and everyday language of the book and the best intentions of the author, is really not sympathetic to the economic needs of those “ordinary folk”.   Continue reading

Food insecurity, property development and the sale of a supermarket chain

Do you know what Orange mobile, EDF Energy, a dockworkers strike, and Hong Kong’s largest supermarket chain have in common?  Continue reading