Congratulations to Margarita de Vries Mecheva successfully defended her thesis on the shift towards energy-dense and low-nutrient processed and prepared foods in Indonesia.
In her thesis she argued that the expansion of manufacturing and services industries, the prevalence of motorized transportation and the growth of global and regional food retailers may have played a role in driving the shift towards energy-dense and low-nutrient processed and prepared foods, as well as promoting a more sedentary lifestyle.
Her focus is on the effects this has on children, noting that despite ongoing issues of undernutrition and high rates of stunting in Indonesia, the prevalence of childhood obesity is rapidly increasing.
In a series of four essays, she explored:
- The geospatial trends of the nutrition transition and its drivers that contribute to the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity.
- The existing experimental and observational evidence of associations between behavioral, psychosocial and environmental risk factors and overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries.
- The potential association between demographic, behavioural and environmental risk factors and overweight or obesity among primary school children in urban Indonesia.
- The effects of policy nudges and peer behaviour on children’s choices of a healthy or unhealthy snack.