PhD at BUK, Department of Public Health and Sport Sciences – investigating digital food environments
Who are you?
Sabrina Ionata Granheim, 37, born in Brasília, Brazil. I am a public health nutritionist with a BSc in Nutrition and MSc in Social Policy and Social Research, and I have done work for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and the Brazilian Government. My main areas of expertise are global nutrition policy, healthy food environments and the human right to food.
What are you researching?
My PhD research is investigating digital food environments. I am basically trying to find out how digital technology affects what and how we eat, and the potential consequences for health and nutrition, from overweight and obesity to body image and eating disorders. I am particularly interested in how it affects young women in Norway. It is a project with a conceptual component, based on a systematic literature review, and a qualitative component, where young women will be interviewed and the digital technologies that they use will be investigated to determine potential influence on their nutritional health. I am currently based at the Department of Public Health and Sport Sciences of INN, in Elverum, and am a part of the PhD Programme in Child and Youth Participation and Competence Development (BUK), in Lillehammer.
What's in it for society?
Everyone uses digital technology, but the extent of its impact in our daily lives (both positive and negative) is not yet fully understood. From social media digital influencers to digital marketing of unhealthy foods, we are all exposed to content related to food and nutrition through digital media. My research will help understand who are the actors sending these messages, what impact they may have on the health of young women (and more broadly), and how consumers and governments may harness the power of digital technology for better nutrition, while minimizing the potential harmful effects.
What's next after your PhD?
I have just started, so it is a bit early to make concrete plans. But it would be great to have the opportunity to continue doing research in this very promising field, and maybe collaborate with governments to help them develop concrete actions for improved nutrition using digital technology.
When not researching
I mostly spend time with my two-year-old daughter and husband, but try to squeeze in some time to read, play computer games, re-watch The Lord of the Rings and practice calligraphy.