Cultural contexts affect health and wellbeing in profound, and often hidden, ways. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in collaboration with WHO/Europe’s flagship CCH project, the Vanderbilt Cultural Contexts of Health and Wellbeing Initiative uses cultural insights to help improve public health policy and healthcare delivery.
Each year, the VU-CCH team focuses on one theme, enlisting expert consultants from around the world to develop a policy brief on that topic. The first was “Improving Pandemic Response: Global Lessons and Cultural Insights from COVID-19” (2021). The second brief “Reframing Childhood Obesity: Cultural Insights on Nutrition, Weight, and Food Systems” (2022) focuses on three key areas in which cultural insights and global examples can help improve health policy around childhood obesity by understanding how historical and structural factors frame food and weight beyond individual choice.