Shaniek, a Vital Strategies Healthy Food Policy Fellow, joined the Nuffield Department of Population Health in 2022 under the supervision of Professor Mike Rayner, Professor Peter Scarborough, Dr Jessica Renzella and Dr Asha Kaur. Her DPhil research looks at the impact of digital communications on food decision-making among young adults in her home country, Jamaica, and the UK.
Young adults – often viewed as digital natives – have a strong reliance on online platforms, possess purchasing power and are at a key stage in developing independent food preferences and eating behaviours that will persist for a lifetime. Shaniek believes that understanding factors influencing food decisions, specifically related to digital communications, may inform risk communication, support policy implementation and identify interventions to encourage healthy eating habits to combat the obesity epidemic.
Prior to joining the DPhil programme, Shaniek worked as a communications consultant at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Office serving Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. She previously obtained a Master of Arts in International Communications from the University of Leeds and a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.