We are a team of researchers working with the public, partners from local and national government, food charities, community support teams, and the food industry. We will work together to design interventions to support healthier eating and reduce the impact of food on the planet. We will test the impact of these interventions in real-life settings. And we will model the impact of delivering these interventions at scale on health, inequalities, businesses and the environment.
The SALIENT consortium is drawn from eight universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Birmingham, Hertfordshire, Liverpool, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Queen Mary University of London) and two research institutes (Nesta and the Behavioural Insights Team). The consortium is led by Professor Pete Scarborough from the University of Oxford, and Professor Martin White from the University of Cambridge. We regularly meet with a Programme Board with members from the following Government departments: Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs; Food Standards Agency; Cabinet Office; HM Treasury; Department of Health and Social Care; Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; Department for Education.
The aim of SALIENT is to co-design and evaluate interventions that support healthier diets and reduce the environmental impacts of our food system. We will work with partners in local government, food charities, community support teams and the food industry to deliver these interventions in real-life settings.
SALIENT is funded by a £5.4M research grant from the ESRC and will conduct work between January 2023 and March 2025. The funding call asked for a set of food system trials to encourage healthy, sustainable diets. Although we will be working with partners from the food industry to design and evaluate interventions, we do not receive any funding from the food industry.
We will prioritise interventions and partners that have the largest reach and the greatest potential to make food healthier and more environmentally sustainable, and to narrow health inequalities (both geographic and socio-economic). This means that we are most interested in investigating interventions that change the food environment to make healthy, sustainable choices easier to make.
We have engaged with over 40 partners to date. In March 2023 we selected partners for our first five trials in which we will evaluate the impact of more than ten interventions. Our partners include food retailers, a tech company, a catering company, and a social enterprise aimed at providing reduced cost food for people with a low budget. As our plans develop we will publish protocols for our trials and provide links from this website.
We are currently working with further partners to design interventions for new trials. In this phase we are focussing on working with major food retailers, food charities, community support teams and local government partners. We are also engaging with new food industry partners, particularly those with greater reach into socially disadvantaged groups.
Work with us
You can get involved with the research of the SALIENT project in two ways.
If you are a member of the public, you can ask to join our Public Involvement group that meets virtually to help guide our research. Please contact Claire Thompson for details.
If you represent a food charity, community support team, or a food business and you are interested in designing and evaluating interventions for healthy, sustainable diets then please contact David Dearlove for more details.