Photo of Dr Rachel Loopstra

Dr Rachel Loopstra

Senior Lecturer Public Health, Policy & Systems


Personal Statement

I joined the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems in June 2022. My background training is in nutritional sciences, but I apply a wider determinants framework to this field, examining the societal and policy factors that shape the way that people eat. My work has predominantly focused on food insecurity, that is, people lacking the financial means to ensure sufficient and consistent access to the food they need. I have examined the rise of food banks in the UK and the wider problem of food insecurity in the population. I also examine food bank systems, asking if they are an adequate and appropriate response to the problem of food insecurity. I am part of the Mandala Consortium, a project that includes mapping food systems, including charitable systems, and their leverage points for improving diets of low-income groups.

I predominantly use quantitative methods, but as part of an ESRC-funded COVID-19 project on food insecurity, my work has also involved qualitative case study methods to examine policy and charitable responses to food insecurity.

I am also a co-leader of ENUF - a hub for research and evidence on household food insecurity in the UK.