This work package aims to develop a method to estimate the impact of changes in diet in response to public health policies into medium and long term health, economic benefits and equity impacts to evaluate local food interventions. This will allow us to estimate the benefits of improving diet, with a focus on junk food advertising, where it is not possible to observe these within the population. Food policies often aim to impact on aspects of the food system, which is a term used here to describe activities affecting food production, demand, waste and impact on individuals and the population. The proposed work will extend the study on junk food advertising on transport for London to estimate the impact on food consumption, health and economic consequences of this policy. We will also work with public health practitioners to generalise the findings to other local advertising food policies in other local settings.
The programme builds on previous SPHR work to develop a simulation model that evaluates the relationship between changes in obesity, diabetes risk, hypertension and cardiovascular risk on long term health outcomes such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related non-communicable diseases. This project extends this work to allow us to simulate changes in the purchasing and consumption of food and also predict how individuals will replace reductions in unhealthy food items based on existing data collected on dietary consumption. We will hopefully learn whether people are more likely to reduce junk food and improve overall diet, or simply substitute for other less healthy food options. This will help us to evaluate the likely overall benefits of the intervention on a much broader set of economic, health and societal outcomes utilising both the diabetes prevention model and new methods linking health to work participation. We will also look at how the impact of policies varies across the socio-economic gradient. We will use new guidance developed in the Efficient and Equitable Public Health Systems theme and consultation with practitioners to ensure that the outcomes of the policy provide useful guidance on the potential impact of policies on inequalities.