Post doctoral fellowship, University of Cape Town


Food choices and challenges of shoppers in different urban income areas and food security status

My research area is on finding ways to improve the accessibility, availability, affordability and nutritious consumption of healthy foods ( Food security). What a person’s eat influences food insecurity and obesity( being overweight). Both food insecurity and obesity have negative health implications as they can make people unhealthy and they can cause disease such as diabetes and heart attack. It is therefore important to find ways of reducing food insecurity and obesity. A way of achieving this is to find out exactly types of food people buy, why they buy them. It is therefore important to find ways of reducing food insecurity and obesity. A way of achieving this is to find out exactly types of food people buy, why they buy them, and what prevents them from buying healthy foods. We therefore decided to go the major supermarkets in Cape Town to ask the shoppers why?


Home environment and psychosocial predictors of obesity status among community-residing men and women.

Abstract: Prior research indicates that features of the home environment (for example, televisions, exercise equipment) may be associated with obesity, but no prior study has examined objective features of the home food environment (for example, location of food) in combination with behavioral (for example, food purchasing), psychological (for example, self-efficacy) and social factors among obese adults. This study identified factors associated with obesity status from measures of home environment, food purchasing behavior, eating behavior and psychosocial functioning.One hundred community-residing obese (mean body mass index (BMI)=36.8, s.e.=0.60) and nonobese (mean BMI=23.7, s.e.=0.57) adults (mean age=42.7, s.e.=1.50; range=20-78 years) completed an observational study with 2-h home interview/assessment and 2-week follow-up evaluation of food purchases and physical activity. Data were analyzed with analysis of variance and logistic regression, controlling for sex.Univariate analyses revealed that homes of obese individuals had less healthy food available than homes of nonobese (F(1,97)=6.49, P=0.012), with food distributed across a greater number of highly visible locations (F(1,96)=6.20, P=0.01). Although there was no group difference in household income or size, obese individuals reported greater food insecurity (F(1,97)=9.70, P<0.001), more reliance on fast food (F(1,97)=7.63, P=0.01) and more long-term food storage capacity in number of refrigerators (F(1,97)=3.79, P=0.05) and freezers (F(1,97)=5.11, P=0.03). Obese individuals also reported greater depressive symptoms (F(1,97)=10.41, P=0.002) and lower ability to control eating in various situations (F(1,97)=20.62, P<0.001). Multiple logistic regression revealed that obesity status was associated with lower self-esteem (odds ratio (OR) 0.58, P=0.011), less healthy food consumption (OR 0.94, P=0.048) and more food available in the home (OR 1.04, P=0.036).The overall pattern of results reflected that home food environment and psychosocial functioning of obese individuals differed in meaningful ways from that of nonobese individuals. In particular, lower self-esteem may be an important psychosocial aspect of obesity, especially in the context of greater food consumption and food storage/availability.

Pub.: 29 Apr '15, Pinned: 14 Sep '17