The ‘Fresh Start’ Effect: Using the COVID-19 Pandemic to create Healthier Habits


Session Overview:

In this session from the 2020 GovComms Festival, Rowena Merritt discusses the work of the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, the World Food Programme. She explains how the World Food Programme have used 2020 to create healthier habits throughout the world.

Rowena Merritt is a Social Behaviour Change Communication Specialist at the World Food Programme, a United Nations initiative. Working in over 80 countries, the World Food Programme’s mission is to eliminate hunger and food insecurity.

Rowena discusses how our habits have changed as a result of COVID-19, with focus on our eating and hygiene habits. She discusses the psychological research into habit formation, and how the World Food Programme used this research to promote positive eating and hygiene habits in at-risk countries. Rowena uses her work in Tajikstan as a case study.

She also examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the obesity crisis occurring in many countries around the world. She also discusses the hidden problem of obesity in some areas within developing countries.

Rowena explains why she thinks COVID-19 has served as a reminder to people to improve their eating and exercise habits.

After watching this video, you will be able to:

  • Understand the work of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the World Food Programme.
  • Teach others about effective habit-changing tips and tricks.
  • Understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our habits related to eating and hygiene, and how we can improve those habits.

Please note that this is a recording of a live presentation.