FEAST's Oxfordshire Living Lab: Co-creating solutions to address barriers to eating healthy and sustainable diets.


FEAST's Oxfordshire Living Lab: Co-creating solutions to address barriers to eating healthy and sustainable diets.

20 Feb 2024

What is FEAST? 

Over the past year, GFO has been involved in FEAST, a 5 year programme involving 35 European partners which aims to make it easy for every European to eat a healthy and sustainable diet. The programme aims to co-develop community-based solutions to support the transitions to healthier and more sustainable diets and address food insecurity.    

Good Food Oxfordshire is leading the project management of the Oxfordshire Living Lab. The Living Lab structure ensures the inclusion of a wide range of stakeholders throughout the planning, delivery and realisation of the programme.    

Why Oxfordshire?  

We know that in Oxfordshire residents on lower incomes have poorer diet-related health outcomes and a higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes (Oxfordshire Insight, 2022).  

We have data that shows that healthy and sustainable food is less available and more expensive in some of the most deprived areas (Hansford et al., 2021).  

We also know that – based on extrapolated national data and our local knowledge of the current use of food banks and larders – an estimated 100,000 people in Oxfordshire were experiencing food insecurity in September 2022 (Food Foundation, 2022).  

But beyond piecemeal evidence on cost and access, we currently lack robust evidence of the barriers to people eating healthier and more sustainable diets. We are looking to understand more about these barriers, by working with the communities that are most at risk of diet-related ill-health, and food insecurity, to co-design and evaluate innovative solutions that would work for them.  

Focusing on vulnerable populations, our research in Oxfordshire aims to: 

(i) understand the barriers to eating a healthier and more sustainable diet 

(ii) understand how people in our community experience food insecurity 

(iii) test different approaches to facilitate the uptake of healthier and more sustainable diets and address food insecurity 

How will community groups in Oxfordshire be involved? 

To be able to co-develop solutions that will work it’s important we hear the lived experiences and views of people from across the county.   

We are looking for 6 – 8 groups and grassroots organisations that work at the heart of their communities engaging with many of the most vulnerable people. Specifically, from the following groups of people who are using community-based food-related services: 

Parents with pre-school age children 

Older people (+65 years of age) 

Research participants will be involved in the following activities: 

Complete questionnaires to understand the barriers to eating a healthy and sustainable diet, and to understand issues around food insecurity

Attend approximately 2 focus groups where a facilitator will explore these barriers with participants in more detail 

Attend approximately 3 co-design workshops, where participants will be supported in creating solutions to address the barriers that they experience

Complete a post intervention questionnaire, to understand how the solution they have co-created has addressed the barriers to eating a healthy and sustainable diet, or addressed their food insecurity issues. 

GFO understands that being part of a research project can be time consuming for groups.  In recognition of this, groups will be compensated for taking part.  

What benefits are there for our community? 

In participating in this study groups will help provide insight into what prevents people from obtaining a healthy and sustainable diet, inform what solutions can make positive changes at a community level, and support a wider business case for greater investment in these types of solutions. 

Find out more and get involved! 

Please contact Caroline at GFO (caroline@gfo.org.uk) for more information and to get involved.  



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