Salut i Psicologia

Food and lifestyle

This is a broad, cross-cutting and transdisciplinary line of research that primarily focuses on the following four areas:

  • Food and society
  • Food and public health
  • Food and physical exercise
  • Lifestyles and health

Specific thesis projects offered inside of this line of research include the following:

Thesis Proposals

Researchers

Research Group

Environments, lifestyle and public health

This line of research is focused on studying the relationship between lifestyles (food habits, physical activity, alcohol consumption, etc), health and society in different environments (university, work place, urban context, schools, etc).

In particular, we are interested in: 

  • Analysing food supply, alcohol availability and consumption, and other lifestyles in different geographical environments, as well as their relationship with the population's health depending on the neighbourhood.
  • Tools and programmes promoting healthy eating and physical activity, particularly the use of e-health and ICTs (such as apps) to empower employees to change habits and prevent and address chronic diseases, especially obesity. 
  • Analysing diets, nutrition and physical activity and their influence on cancer prevention.
  • Analysing diets, nutrition, physical activity and toxins and their influence on highly prevalent diseases in women (PCOS, endometriosis) that present metabolic compromise (prediabetes, metabolic syndrome) and fertility problems. This involves the study of the mechanisms involved.
  • Analysing environmental and occupational exposures (such as exposure to air pollution, chemicals and heat stress among others) in relation to non-communicable diseases.

Dr Alicia Aguilar Martinez

Mail:aaguilarmart@uoc.edu

Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Mail: abachf@uoc.edu

Dr Marina Bosque Prous

Mail: mbosquep@uoc.edu

Dr Laura Esquius de la Zarza

Mail: lesquius@uoc.edu

Dra. Marta Massip Salcedo

Mail: mmassips@uoc.edu

Dra. Cristina O'Callaghan Gordo

Mail:co_callaghang@uoc.edu

FoodLab

Food and public health 

This line of research aims to analyse the evolution of food patterns such as the Mediterranean diet and its relation to the most pressing challenges facing public health. This can be done by monitoring dietary patterns (what we eat and how we eat) and their relation to health.

Dr Alicia Aguilar Martinez

Mail:aaguilarmart@uoc.edu


Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Mail: abachf@uoc.edu

Dr Francesc X. Medina Luque

Mail: fxmedina@uoc.edu

FoodLab

Health-related behaviours of the University Community  

This line of research involves evaluating the health-related behaviours and health status of the University Community, developing and implementing health promotion actions and interventions and evaluating the effectiveness of those interventions. 
 
Moreover, it is interesting to assess the interactions between health-related behaviours: healthy eating, physical activity, sleep quality, substance use, self-perceived health, mental health and quality of life.
 
UOC is part of the Network of Healthy Universities of Catalonia, and is willing to conduct community-based research in public health. Higher education  Institutions have long been concerned about an improvement in health, well-being and quality of life of their students and staff. 
 
Various changes occur during university and this is a powerful period when one's lifestyle is relatively flexible compared to that of adulthood, and, therefore, university is an important stage for developing healthy habits.
 
Moreover, the universities have a large number of students who are or will be professionals and politicians, with potential capacity to change the conditions that influence the health of others. 
 
Mail: abachf@uoc.edu
 
 
 
Mail: mbosquep@uoc.edu
FoodLab

Dietary patterns for health and sustainability

The objectives of this line of research are to study how to face the health and sustainability challenges of dietary patterns. 

Currently, 25% of global climate change is most likely attributable to the food system. This industry is in a constant evolution, with consumers' tastes, practices and preferences shifting over time. In conjunction, the duration and methods of shopping, cooking and eating has drastically changed over time. Facing the future, changes in our food systems will not only have to address the rise in obesity and other diet-related health conditions, but also promote a more sustainable diet for global populations in the pursuit of a healthy planet.

In this context, beyond assessing the environmental impact of our diets and identifying more sustainable ones, we still need to address which actions and tools would encourage consumers to adopt the latter. This should be done by identifying a system of compatibility between nutritional value, the environment, affordability and the acceptable dimensions of sustainable diets.

Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Mail: abachf@uoc.edu

FoodLab

Food and society

This line of research is focused on the influence of social and cultural aspects on food's effect on health. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of dietary transformations from a sociocultural perspective and to the application of qualitative methodologies. 

Our interest focused particularly on interdisciplinary research into the evolution of dietary patterns and their relationship with society and health, thus linking them with nutrition, public health, disease prevention, food culture and social aspects, and health narratives regarding food and nutrition.

Dr Francesc X. Medina Luque

Mail: fxmedina@uoc.edu

FoodLab

Food, physical activity and sport

This line of research is focused on the relationship between the effects of diet and exercise on health and performance.

In relation to this research, we are also part of the Spanish Network on Data Analytics in Sport and Health (05/UPR/19), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport, and are focused on developing research and transfer actions aimed at describing the current state of the sport and health sectors. We do so by carrying out data-intensive studies and identifying best practices that facilitate the mass adoption of healthy habits in nutrition, physical activity and sport.

Dr Laura Esquius de la Zarza

Mail: lesquius@uoc.edu

Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Mail: abachf@uoc.edu

FoodLab
 
Mechanisms of healthy ageing
 
This line of research focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in ageing and age-related diseases in order to propose interventions that could ameliorate healthspan and lifespan in the aging population, with a particular focus on women's health. We will use a combination of cellular models, in vivo models and clinical samples to achieve our goals.
 
We will focus on:
 
  • The metabolic changes in ageing.
  • Dietary interventions to ameliorate ageing phenotypes.
  • The role of senescent cell accumulation in healthy ageing and disease.
  • Understanding genetic differences that determine women's healthspan.

Dra. Marta Massip Salcedo

Mail: mmassips@uoc.edu

Dr. Salvador Macip Maresma

Mail: smacipm@uoc.edu

FoodLab
 
Substance use, addiction and health
 
This line of research aimes at studying the epidemiology of substance use (alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, cannabis, etc.) and their effects on health. In particular, we are interested in:
 
  • Urban alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes environment (exposure and availability; Geographic Information System (GIS) technology).
  • Behavioural addictions (internet addiction; video games addiction; other ICT addictions).
  • Epidemiology of substance use at different life stages (adolescents, young adults, adults and older people).

Dr Marina Bosque Prous

Mail: mbosquep@uoc.edu

 
 
Planetary health
 
Planetary Health has recently emerged as a new area of ​​knowledge focused on characterizing the impacts on human health of the disruption of the Earth's natural systems due to anthropic causes, as well as studying the political, economic and social systems that mediate such interactions.
 
In that sense, the aims of this line of research are: (i) to study the impacts on human health of the current environmental and climate crisis and (ii) to explore solutions to overcome the challenges that this crisis poses for our health using an interdisciplinary approach. In particular we are interested in the following areas: 
  • The health effects of climate change.
  • The complex association between biodiversity and health.
  • The urban environment and health.

 

Dra. Cristina O'Callaghan Gordo

Mail:co_callaghang@uoc.edu

 
 
Environment, lifestyles and COVID-19
 
With any doubts, COVID-19 Pandemia has been one of the most important challenges to our society in modern years. It has an impact in daily life, economy, and (obviously) in health.
 
On the one hand, we are interested in assessing how the environment exposures, such long term exposure to air pollution or exposure to green spaces, can increase the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or development of COVID-19. 
 
Besides, we are interested in studying the effects of the pandemia in people'  lifestyles. For example, during confinement related to COVID-19, people tended to drink more alcoholic drinks, or not to follow an appropriate diet. It  is also our interest to investigate how COVID-19 has changed the lifestyle of people with previous chronic illnesses and the effects of these changes in their health. In this vein, for example, we have performed a survey directed to people with chronic pain and found that they had problems following their usual care and felt worse during confinement periods. 
 
In sum, we welcome ideas for research about (i) environmental factors that can increase COVID-19 susceptibility, (ii) the effects of COVID-19 in lifestyle in the general population and people with chronic illnesses. 
 
 

Dr Marina Bosque Prous

Mail: mbosquep@uoc.edu

Dra. Cristina O'Callaghan Gordo

Mail:co_callaghang@uoc.edu