The family food decision-making framework and the Community Engaged Research Team have made an impact on national, as well as New York, funders, researchers, educators, and community food system stakeholders. Ardyth Gillespie was co-editor of a special issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine on decision making in eating behavior. The article in ABM, Changing Family Food and Eating Practices: The Family Food Decision-making System, is guiding research and extension programming initiatives. It is reported that this special issue and the preceding conference, which Gillespie co-chaired, is shaping future program announcements in several National Institutes of Health institutes.
impact statement issue
In spite of major national efforts to improve the health and well-being of children and their families, there has been little sustainable progress, as evidenced by the increase in childhood obesity, diabetes, and risk of other chronic diseases. This suggests the need for in-depth studies of the family food decision-making processes to understand routine eating practices, food choices, and mechanisms of change.
impact statement response
We have generated grounded theory about family food decision making and developed a conceptual framework of the Family Food Decision-Making System. In collaboration with community-based decision makers and change agents, we have developed the Collaborative Engaged Research (CER) methodology. These partners offer multiple perspectives based on their own life experiences. We take an asset-based approach to studying community and family resources and working with community partners on mobilizing their assets for desired social change, as well as individual behavioral change. Through these partnerships, our goal is to identify research questions that not only add to our scientific understanding of food decision making, but also benefit the families and communities whom we study as they move toward making positive change.
impact statement summary
There is a need for in-depth studies of the family food decision-making processes in order to understand routine eating practices and food choices and mechanisms of change. Basic to our community-engaged research methodology is working in partnership with community partners and ecosystems stakeholders. One outcome of this research is a family food decision-making framework that guides research, education, and family and community change initiatives.