In May 2024, GDAR researchers Vicki Lambert and Feyi Wayas attended the 2024 ISBNPA conference in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

The theme of the conference was to “stimulate and promote innovative and impactful research in behavioral nutrition and physical activity to improve human health and well-being worldwide.” Central to the conference’s theme was the impact of community-led initiatives and engagement with the research projects.

Feyi presented her poster on Ripple Effects, demonstrating the impacts of urban South African adolescent citizen scientists in advocating for safe, healthy and active lifestyles and environments in three low income schools in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. Through the resulting discussions about Feyi’s presentation, several researchers expressed their interest in conducting similar projects.

Vicki gave an oral presentation titled Physical activity security: Changing the conversation for environmental justice in lower and middle income settings.

Throughout the conference, the following points were made:

  1. Effective research does not reach the people that needs it the most.
  2. There is slow research translation.
  3. There were limited research presentations that were conducted in Africa.

The conference’s organisers shared that efforts are being made to increase the participation of researchers from low-and middle-income countries.

Reflecting on the conference, Feyi and Vicki noted there were numerous community-centred research presentations, many of which highlighted the need for cultural relevance and sensitivity of research in methods, data collection and analysis.