Emalie Rosewarne hopes the school canteen looks a little different by the time her seven-month-old son stands in line to buy his lunch.
The new mum and Sydney-based academic is just months from submitting her PhD which will contribute to research to improve food policies and food offerings in the places we learn, work and play.
One part of her research has examined the potential impact of nutrition policies on food offerings in publicly funded institutions in Australia with those globally – including ‘Healthy Choices,’ a Victorian Government framework for improving the provision and promotion of healthier food and beverages in key settings.
Her other focus has been on evaluating the impact of salt reduction strategies, namely those aimed at reducing salt levels in the food supply.
“What I’m really looking at is how policy design and implementation are helping or hindering food environment policies from having their intended population-level impact,” she explains.
“There is such large potential for healthy food retail policies to impact the health of Australians, and the world. When you consider that some people are spending one-third of their day, or more, in publicly funded institutions, exposing them to healthy food environments can have an enormous influence on their food choices.”
Emalie joined the RE-FRESH research team two years ago via a PhD supported by the University of New South Wales and The George Institute for Global Health.
She is also employed as a research associate at The George Institute for Global Health and contributes to wider RE-FRESH projects. This includes an investigation led by Dr Miranda Blake into the alignment between the most common government nutrient profiling systems in Australia for food and drinks.
Pursuing the nutrition field has been a natural pathway for the self-described “life-long learner” who launched into a Bachelor of Science/Master of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sydney directly from high school.
Placements within the final year of her Masters solidified that working to improve nutrition beyond the individual level was her calling.
“I did think I’d be a clinical dietitian, but I quickly realised, during my placement at The George Institute for Global Health, that I was drawn to working with bigger groups of people for change, whether that’s communities or at a population level.”
Emalie has embraced the opportunities that have come as a member of RE-FRESH, such as networking with senior researchers, collaborating on papers and projects and being co-chair of the 2021 committee for early and mid-career researchers.
“A major advantage has been the connections and networking opportunities,” she says.
“But I’ve also been able to demonstrate and improve my leadership skills, which will be helpful for the future, as well as better understand food environments from a retail perspective.”
Emalie’s PhD supervisor Prof. Jacqui Webster described Emalie as a talented researcher and advocate for better food environments with strong leadership potential.
“Emalie is a highly valued member of the food policy team at The George Institute with a strong commitment to understanding new scientific research methods to improve the adoption, design and implementation of policies to improve the food environment,” she said.
“Her good communication and advocacy skills will enhance her capacity for research impact as she transitions to a postdoctoral position in food policy research.”
EMALIE’S PhD papers:
- A global systematic review of national nutrition standards with salt-related criteria for publicly funded institutions (under review, due to be published soon)
- A comprehensive overview and qualitative analysis of government-led nutrition policies in Australian institutions: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-020-09160-z
- Understanding Enablers and Barriers to the Implementation of Nutrition Standards in Publicly Funded Institutions in Victoria: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/13/2628
- A Global Review of National Strategies to Reduce Sodium Concentrations in Packaged Foods: https://academic.oup.com/advances/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/advances/nmac048/6575889?login=false
- Assessing the Healthy Food Partnership’s Proposed Nutrient Reformulation Targets for Foods and Beverages in Australia: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/5/1346
- Stakeholder Perspectives on the Effectiveness of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40795-021-00414-6
- An evaluation of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership’s advocacy strategy for policy change: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12961-021-00759-1
- Unpack the Salt: an evaluation of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership’s media advocacy activities to highlight the salt content of different foods: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12937-020-00621-0
- An evaluation of the impact of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership’s media advocacy strategy on sodium levels in Australian packaged foods (under review)
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