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Emeritus Professor of Food and Health Policy, Centre for Food Policy, University of London

Professor Martin Caraher

Martin is professor of food and health policy at the Centre for Food Policy at City University. He originally trained as an environmental health officer in Dublin where he developed an interest in the public health and health promotion aspects of the work. He completed his masters and doctorate in London, he helped establish the Centre for Food Policy 15 years ago. The centre is now located at City University.

He has worked on issues related to food poverty, cooking skills, local sustainable food supplies, the role of markets and co-ops in promoting health, farmers markets, food deserts & food access, retail concentration and globalisation.

Current research interests include:

  • The role of local food projects in promoting health.
  • Local area access to food in London with work in the boroughs of Hackney and Islington.
  • A review of food projects funded and supported by health authorities in England.
  • An evaluation of local food projects in London.
  • A review of the planning process nationwide in promoting food projects.
  • Cooking skills among young people and the changing nature of food skills and the culinary transition.
  • The role of food markets in promoting health and well-being.
  • Farmers markets and new selling spaces.
  • Food, arts and public spaces.
  • The food supply chain and ethics.

Martin has contributed to books on public health and health promotion, including a chapter on international public health in the Oxford Handbook of Public Health. Along with colleagues in the department he is in contact with a wide range of international academic colleagues and current work included work with colleagues in Australia, Portugal, France, the US and Canada.

He sits on the London Food Board which advises the Mayor of London on food in London and the South East Food and Public Health Group. He is also an Associate Member of the National Heart Forum. He also advises and reviews materials and plans for a range of local and statutory organisations dealing with food. He chaired the National Primary Care Team Community Food Access programme. Martin regularly reviews for a wide range of journals and organisations ranging from Public Health Nutrition to Social Science and Medicine.

He has worked for and acted as a consultant to the UK Dept of Health, the World Bank and the World

Health Organisation. He sits on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advisory board on preventing CVD and is a member of the Irish Government’s- safefood- review of local food. He is currently collaborating with researchers in Australia, Portugal and the US. He regularly appears on TV and radio in relation to food issues.

Major research projects underway at the moment include a review of cooking skills, mapping fast food

outlets on school routes, mapping the affordability and access to foods in local areas and a review of local planning in relation to fast food outlets.