Involving low income consumers in policy making: Developing consultation methods and improving participation levels
This project addresses the Food Standards Agency's need to develop innovative methods for accessing the views of low income consumers on food policy issues and for increasing their level of participation in policy making. It will build on and extend current knowledge of food policy communication. Novel methods will be developed to understand communication networks between low income consumers and the Agency. The impact of communication networks based on a variety of methods (e.g. opinion leaders, citizens' jury, citizen's workshop, groups purporting to represent low-income groups) will be determined.
I previously worked at the Institute of Food Research, Health Education Authority and University of Oxford. My expertise is in the area of public health and behavioural nutrition research, gained on a variety of projects. My research is wide ranging both in terms of topics covered (e.g. food choice, policy development, food safety) and methodologies used (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, stakeholder consultation). I have also been involved in the evaluation of health promotion programmes and developing tools for use in nutrition education.
Since my arrival in 2000, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the University of Surrey’s Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, securing over £5.4M of research funding, of which over £3.3M as PI. With a start-up investment of £250K in 2000, the centre has brought over £7.1M into the University.
To date I have published over 125 refereed papers, numerous non-refereed publications including 20 book chapters and have edited two booksand edited two books ("The Psychology of Food Choice" (2006) and "Food for the Ag(e)ing Population" (1st edition 2009; 2nd edition 2016).
I am one of the founding members, member of the Board of Directors (2001-2006) and was secretary (2004-2006) of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The society was set up to combine interests in diet and physical activity; and to stimulate, promote and advocate innovative research and policy in the area. The society now plays an important role in fostering excellence in research in this field through its annual meetings and journal called the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Richard Shepherd is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, having retired in August 2011. He obtained degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and in Psychology from Cardiff and Southampton. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and then worked at the Institute of Food Research from 1982 to 1998, initially in Norwich and then in Reading, before joining the University of Surrey as a Reader.
He has carried out research on a range of issues related to the factors influencing food choice. In particular this has involved the development and application of social cognition models to food choice issues and the exploration of the factors influencing dietary change. He has also conducted research on the perception of risk and risk communication particularly in relation to food issues. He has published widely in all of these areas of research, including editing two books.
He has directed research funded by BBSRC, ESRC, MAFF, FSA, Wellcome Trust and industry, in addition to several collaborative European projects funded by the EU. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In the past Richard has been a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel.
Having completed my PhD in 2000 (University of Surrey) in the area of identity processes in the context of social and cross-cultural mobility, I have subsequently worked within advertising industry (J. Walter Thompson). I joined the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH) at the University of Surrey (Department of Psychology) in 2002, a multidisciplinary research centre which brings together skills and expertise from across the University in order to address research questions on food related policy, consumer behaviour and public health. Since my arrival, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the Research Centre, working on research projects of substantive theoretical and applied relevance. I work within the critical public health framework and my empirically-oriented work has focused on understanding the role and nature of public and stakeholder engagement and dialogue in policy and science, risk perception and governance, and science-policy interaction. Policy relevance is a key theme across my research projects, and my work is aimed at both understanding the processes of policy making, and contributing evidence on which to base policies. I am particularly interested in public health nutrition, sustainable diets and illness prevention.
Timotijevic L, Raats MM (2007) Evaluation of two methods of deliberative participation of older people in food-policy development. Health Policy 82(3), 302-319.
Raats M, Timotijevic L (2004) Evaluating direct and indirect public involvement in food policy development. Vienna, Austria, European Academy of Sciences Conference 2004. May 2004.
Raats M, Timotijevic L (2004) Evaluation of two methods of deliberative participation of older people in food-policy development. Washington DC, USA, ISBNPA 2004 -- 3rd Annual International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Conference. June 2004.
Raats M, Timotijevic L (2004) Stakeholder involvement in food policy development - social construction of social policy. Washington DC, USA, ISBNPA 2004 -- 3rd Annual International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Conference. June 2004.
Raats M, Timotijevic L, Green J, Mitchell J (2004) Evaluating Public Involvement in Food Policy Development. HDA conference 2004 - Mainstreaming action on health Inequalities: linking evidence, policy and practice, London, 23-24 September 2004.
Raats M, Timotijevic L. (2004) Evaluating indirect and direct involvement of older people in food policy development. Toulouse, France, Fourth European Congress on Nutrition and Health in the Elderly. November 2004.
Raats MM (2004) The role of food in older people's lives. Lambourn, UK, The BIG Food Debate - the Food and Health Conference for the South East. 25 June 2004.
Timotijevic L, Raats M (2003) Direct and indirect public involvement in food policy development. Food Standards Agency Second Annual Open Meeting on Research on London, 6 November 2003.
Timotijevic L, Raats M (2004) Networks of communication: involving the “hard to reach” in food policy development. Oral presentation at “From Agriculture to Culture: The Social Transformation of Food”, the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) and Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) 2004 Annual Joint Meetings. June 2004.
Timotijevic L, Raats M (2004) Networks of Communication: Involving the "hard to reach" in food policy development. Brighton, UK, 18th World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education.
Research groups and centres
Our research is supported by research groups and centres of excellence.