The UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health

News & Events

Call for submissions - what influences what we eat?

22 July 2019

Photo: Ed Prosser

In a few weeks time, we will be launching two short films from a project we have been working on in the UK and Bangladesh with icddr,b, collaborating with school children to explore the influences in their everyday environment that drive their food choices.

Globally, we are grappling with a growing crisis of NCDs, driven in part by consumption. But what is driving this consumption? This project comes from a recognition that, while food choices are driven in part by choice, these 'choices' are often determined and influenced by wider societal, commercial, economic and environmental factors, creating environments in which it is increasingly difficult for people to live healthy lives. While there are many commonalities in what we experience, there are also many drivers specific to the contexts and societies we exist within, depending on who you are. From gender norms, the advertising we experience and the food options available to us to the area we live in, we experience a multitude of factors that drive unhealthy diets. While companies and news outlets push narratives of individual responsibility and freedom of choice, many of these problems in reality lie beyond individual control, and beyond what has traditionally been seen as the scope of public health.

To coincide with the release of these short films, we are running a short blog series to explore some of the factors influencing food consumption across the globe; these could be drivers that we may not immediately associate as influencing diets, but can often help explain patterns of food consumption. We are particularly interested in submissions with a gender and intersectionality lens. We are inviting readers to submit either:

  • a blog post (500-900 words) taking an in-depth look at a factor that you believe is influencing unhealthy diets within a specific context, city, country or region. We will then highlight a range of these pieces on our blog to show the diversity of these influences across different contexts. If you are interested in contributing, please email a submission to, including a few lines about yourself, a headshot and images to accompany the post. Please refer to our blog guidance for more information.
  • or a photograph demonstrating an influence, accompanied by a paragraph to explain the context of the photo and its relevance to diet. Please email this to including your name and affiliation.

Please send any submissions to by Wednesday 7th August 2019, and please share widely!

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