What is driving what young people are eating across the globe? We know that our food options are not just shaped by choice, but the environments in which we live, the options available to us and the many influences we experience in them. We want to challenge the idea that what we eat is simply a matter of personal choice, by highlighting the many drivers young people across the globe experience daily that determine the options available to them and influence their food choices.
These drivers will vary depending on where you live, your gender, the social and cultural norms you exist within and the resources available to you. Ultimately, for people to eat well, we need healthier societies that make it easy, not difficult, to be healthy. We need environments that enable, rather than challenge, the choice to be healthy.
Professor Sarah Hawkes and Anna Purdie, from the Centre for Gender and Global Health, have been collaborating with icddr,b Bangladesh, to run a participatory public engagement project as part of the SHARE project, a larger EU-funded capacity strengthening grant. With schools in Tower Hamlets (UK), Cambridge (UK) and Dhaka (Bangladesh), we've been working with young people to explore these influences and better understand why its becoming increasingly difficult to have a healthy diet and the challenges young people face to achieve healthier diets. Further films are being made in Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia and Vietnam.
We gave the students cameras so that they could capture their environments and influences through their own eyes.
Here's what they found.