I am Giulia, a Ph.D. student in the Food and Drug department at the University of Parma, Italy. I am an Italian Canadian dual citizen with expertise in biology and human nutrition.
My academic background developed and deepened over the years across Canada and Italy, with specializations in the scientific field, but also in management and communications.
After my university studies, I worked in the EU framework both for the European Commission – in the Health and Food Safety Directorate in Brussels – and for the European Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy. These experiences led me to mature a deep interest and passion for health, nutrition, and sustainable diets, which is why I applied for the Ph.D. program in Food Science at the University of Parma.
I am glad I have the opportunity to live this journey in the agro-food economy office, under the supervision of Prof. Giovanni Sogari. Currently, we are working on a project that aims at analyzing the effects of nudging on university students’ food choices in a virtual environment. The main objective of this project is to understand what drives young consumers to make food choices in a college cafeteria and investigate which intervention is the most effective to support the consumption of healthy and sustainable food products. In addition, the study will provide evidence-based recommendations for professionals (e.g., catering managers and dietitians) and support policymakers to improve consumers’ diets.
My team and I are now in an explorative phase, conducting interviews with experts from different countries. We have contacted experts in nutrition and consumer science, but also canteen managers, to receive feedback and suggestions to best implement our research. Furthermore, during the current month (December 2021), we will conduct focus groups with university students to deepen our knowledge on what drives their choices in the university canteen.
Looking forward to updating you in the near future with many interesting outcomes!