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: 

  • Diagnosing lifestyles among the university community (university student and employee surveys, analysis of vending machines, etc).
  • 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.

Dr Alicia Aguilar

Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Dr Marina Bosque-Prous

Dr Laura Esquius

 

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.

References:

  • Franquesa M., Pujol-Busquets G., García-Fernández E., Rico L., Shamirian-Pulido L., Aguilar-Martínez A., Medina F.X., Serra-Majem L., Bach-Faig A. (2019). Mediterranean Diet and Cardiodiabesity: A Systematic Review through Evidence-Based Answers to Key Clinical Questions. Nutrients , 11, 655.
  • Vilarnau C., Stracker D.M., Funtikov A., da Silva R., Estruch R., Bach-Faig A. (2018). Worldwide adherence to Mediterranean Diet between 1960 and 2011. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0313-9. 
  • Sentenach-Carbo A., Batlle C., Franquesa M., García-Fernandez E., Rico L., Shamirian-Pulido L., Pérez M., Deu-Valenzuela E., Ardite E., Funtikova A.N., Estruch R., Bach-Faig A. (2018). Adherence of Spanish Primary Physicians and Clinical Practise to the Mediterranean Diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0314-8.

Dr Alicia Aguilar


Dr Anna Bach-Faig

Dr Francesc X. Medina

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 state of 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.

References:

  • Sáez-Almendros S., Obrador B., Bach-Faig A., Serra-Majem L. (2013). Environmental footprints of Mediterranean versus Western dietary patterns: Beyond the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Environmental Health, 12(1), 118. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-118.
  • Tilman D. & Clark M. (2014). Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature, 515, 518–522. doi: 10.1038/nature13959.

Dr Francesc X. Medina

Dr Anna Bach-Faig

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 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

Dr Anna Bach-Faig
FoodLab