Alexandra Pepetone

PhD student, Public Health Sciences

Alexandra Pepetone.


PhD Public Health Sciences


Sharon Kirkpatrick

My thesis

Food insecurity is a major public health concern due to its negative consequences for nutrition, health and well-being. My thesis research aims to understand if and how food insecurity among adults and youth in six countries changed after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The countries I am investigating include Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Research conducted early after the onset of the pandemic suggested increases in the prevalence of food insecurity. More recent data suggest that rates of food insecurity in some countries are the same or lower than they were prior to the pandemic. My research will explore whether policy responses to the pandemic, such as income supports, appear to account for differences in trends across countries.

Understanding the impact of policy responses can better prepare us to respond to food insecurity, including during future crises. This is important given the likely impacts of the climate emergency on food insecurity, as well as the centrality of food security to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

My time in the School of Public Health Sciences

I have built strong connections with my supervisor, peers, faculty, and staff in the School of Public Health Sciences, as well as collaborators at several other institutions. Within the School, I have enjoyed participating in online and hybrid events, such as the peer mentorship program, and am excited to be supporting the first Research and Practice in Health Sciences Conference.

What is one nutrition fact or tip you would like to share in celebration of Nutrition Month?

Peanuts are a legume despite having the word nut in their name!