Working Group on Food Environments

What are food environments?

Food environments broadly include the range of food sources and products that surround people as they go about their daily lives. Building on the work of Swinburn et al. (2013), Herforth and Ahmed (2015) and the FAO (2016), the ANH-FEWG define the food environment as the interface that mediates one’s food acquisition and consumption with the wider food system, encompassing dimensions such as the availability, accessibility, affordability, desirability, convenience, marketing, and properties of food sources and products.

About the ANH Food Environments Working Group

The ANH Food Environment Working Group (ANH-FEWG) brings together food environment experts to review and synthesise working definitions, key concepts, methodological approaches and current research gaps. The ANH-FEWG aims to provide a platform of consensus to guide and accelerate food environment research in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

The Working Group aims to:

  • Conduct a critical and comprehensive assessment of the applicability of definitions, frameworks and metrics predominantly used within this area of research to rapidly changing LMIC contexts
  • Propose a way forward to harmonise definitions, frameworks and metrics to extend the food environment research to LMICs.

Group Coordinators

Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala and Christopher Turner, LSHTM

Group Members

Dr. Jennifer Coates, Tufts University
Dr. Anju Aggarwal, University of Washington
Dr. Adam Drewnowski, University of Washington
Dr. Corinna Hawkes, City University
Dr. Anna Herforth, FAO
Dr. Helen Walls, LSHTM

Sofia Kalamatianou

FEWG Technical Brief

Download the brief (PDF)

In May 2017 the Group released its final Technical Brief 'Concepts and methods for food environment research in low and middle income countries'. The brief represents a synthesis of the current debate on the development and application of food environment research in LMICs. The document presents a working definition, conceptual frameworks, methods and metrics, research gaps and key considerations for the future research. In the brief, the Group proposes a new conceptual framework for food envronments research.

FEWG at ANH Academy Week in Addis Ababa

Above: Chris Turner leads the Food Environments Working Group session at ANH2016

in June 2016 Chris Turner led a Food Environments Working Group session at the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Week in Addis Ababa. Details of this session and other proceedings from the week can be found in the official ANH Academy Week report.

FEWG blog

Read Anna Herforth's blog: 'Food environments: The missing piece in achieving food security'

Terms of Reference