What are your research topics?
I investigate the nutrition of various population groups, especially children and families, and the factors affecting it.
Our food choices are determined by, among other things, age, gender, education, income, attitudes and values, as well as our physical and social food environment. Together with my research group, I am looking for ways to enable everyone, regardless of their background, make food choices that promote health and wellbeing.
Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?
Our research findings make it possible to identify ways to reduce health inequalities and take steps towards a more ecologically and socially sustainable food system. For instance, we have been collaborating with municipalities to to adapt the food supply in early childhood education to be healthier and more environmentally friendly.
Familiarisation with new flavours and structures , for example, use of legumes, is supported by diverse food education. A successful change will result in a healthier future for both children and the environment.
What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?
The sustainability transition of the food system is a source of both employment and inspiration. Among other things, I am contributing to updating the Nordic and national dietary recommendations.
Right now, I am inspired by the condensation of a vast amount of scholarly knowledge into a clear message that will stimulate change. From the perspective of sustainability, food is an excellent context for practising being a human and behaving in a civilised manner, including sharing the good and self-regulation.
Maijaliisa (Maikki) Erkkola is the Professor of Nutrition (Public Health Nutrition) at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.