My PhD research is within the H2020 project “Confronting Obesity: Co-creating policy with adolescents (CO-CREATE)". CO-CREATE aims to reduce childhood obesity and its co-morbidities by working with adolescents, to create, inform and disseminate obesity-preventive evidence-based policies.
The project will work with adolescents to create, inform and disseminate policies to tackle obesity among their peers. The project sees adolescence as a crucial age-group with increasing autonomy and soon to be the next generation of adults, parents and policymakers, and thus important agents for change.
CO-CREATE sees youth involvement as an essential component to the development of policies which are aimed at them, and thus the project aims to involve and empower adolescents and youth organizations to foster a participatory process of identifying and formulating relevant policies, assessing the options with other private and public actors, promoting relevant policy actions and developing tools and strategies for implementation.
The project applies a systems approach to provide a better understanding of how factors associated with obesity interact at various levels. Applying large-scale datasets, policy-monitoring tools, novel analytical approaches and youth involvement will provide new efficient strategies, tools and programs for promoting sustainable and healthy dietary behaviors and lifestyles.
Position: Teaching Assistant
Employment Duration: 2017 - Present
Location: System Dynamics Group, Department of Geography.
As teaching assistant, I am responsible of the practical component of the master courses System Dynamics Modelling Process (GEO-SD304) and Client-based Modeling Project (GEO-SD325) as part of the core courses in the European Master in System Dynamics program and the Bergen’s Master Program in System Dynamics.
My duties include:
-Giving lectures about practical exercises/applications related to the course during laboratory sessions.
-Grading students assignments.
-Providing written and verbal feedback to students on their project progress in the course.
-Offering support, via Q&A sessions, to students who require a more personalized guidance.
Confronting obesity: Co-creating policy with youth (CO-CREATE)
My involvement in the project consists on building a quantitative system dynamics model to understand how different societal factors, stakeholders and institutions associated with obesity interact at various levels, and the short- and long-term implications these have on policy and young people.
The model will integrate, 1) the main obesity-related systemic structures existing in the literature and, 2) the main factors and mechanisms driving obesity in adolescents that resulted from the group model building sessions conducted at schools across 6 countries in Europe and South Africa.
I am undergoing a systematic review. This study aims to review system dynamics simulation models describing the dynamic development and the effectiveness of prevention measures of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. The main model structures found in the systematic review results will serve as input for the quantitative system dynamics model that will be built later in Work Package 7.
I am currently a research visiting fellow at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and my role is to work with them conducting the group model building sessions in schools involving adolescents in the UK and other European countries to build systems maps of the factors and mechanisms driving obesity.