TEAM

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

COORDINATOR

Suvi Virtanen
Suvi Virtanen
RESEARCH PROFESSOR, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Suvi Virtanen, Ph.D. (Medicine) and M.Sc. (Nutrition), leads the Food, Nutrition and Health team at THL, works as a part-time Professor of Epidemiology at Tampere University and is the principal investigator of the FoodStep project. Suvi and her group examine nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood and its links with the development of children’s chronic illnesses, such as type 1 diabetes and allergies, and the links between nutrition and environmental health.
Sari Niinistö
Sari Niinistö
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Sari Niinistö, Ph.D. (Public Health) and M.Sc. (Nutrition), is responsible for the measurement of children’s nutrition in the FoodStep project and the surveys conducted in the study. She previously conducted research on the link of early nutrition with health, especially with type 1 diabetes, asthma and coeliac disease. Promoting the health of children and families and environmental health is close to Sari’s heart.
Susanna Raulio
Susanna Raulio
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Susanna Raulio, Ph.D. (Public Health) and M.Sc. (Nutrition), has conducted research on the food services provided for people of different ages for several years making extensive use of the population data produced by the State research institutes. In the FoodStep project, she participates especially in the cooperation with food services.
Heli Kuusipalo
Heli Kuusipalo
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Tuuli Korhonen
Tuuli Korhonen
RESEARCHER
Tuuli Korhonen (M.Sc., Nutrition) works in the development of surveys on children’s food consumption and the processing of food consumption data in the FoodStep project.
Mirva Koreasalo
Mirva Koreasalo
RESEARCHER
Mirva Koreasalo (Master of Health Science) works in the FoodStep project in the development of surveys on children’s food consumption
Mari Åkerlund
Mari Åkerlund
RESEARCHER
Mari Åkerlund, Master of Health Science (Nutrition), acts in the development of surveys on children’s food consumption and the processing of food consumption data in the FoodStep project.
Tuuli Salo
Tuuli Salo
RESEARCH assistant
Tuuli Salo (M.Sc., Human Nutrition) works in the FoodStep project as a research assistant, taking care of tasks including communications, logistics, and database maintenance. 

University of Helsinki

Nutrition and Social and Public Policy

Maijaliisa Erkkola
Maijaliisa Erkkola
PROFESSOR
Maijaliisa Erkkola (Ph.D., Nutrition) and her research group at the University of Helsinki Department of Food and Nutrition are responsible for the development and implementation of the FoodStep intervention. Maikki is an expert on public nutrition, food education, nutrition epidemiology and the research methods used in studying food consumption.
Liisa Korkalo
Liisa Korkalo
SeNIOR LECTURER
Liisa Korkalo (Ph.D., Nutrition) is an expert on measuring the consumption of foods and nutrient intake. Her work in the FoodStep project is related especially to changes made in the menus of day-care centres and measuring their impacts.
Jelena Meinilä
Jelena Meinilä
tutkijatohtori
Jelena Meinilä (Ph.D., Nutrition) is responsible for the food consumption data collected in the study. The research previously conducted by Jelena includes nutrition research related to gestational diabetes. Her main focus is currently on research that combines the environmental and nutritional points of view.
Hanna Walsh
Hanna Walsh
ProjECT COORDINATOR
Hanna Walsh (M.Sc., Nutrition) acts as a project coordinator at the University of Helsinki Department of Food and Nutrition. In the FoodStep project, she is responsible for planning the intervention and the methods used as well as for contact with food services.
Henna Vepsäläinen
Henna Vepsäläinen
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER
Henna Vepsäläinen (Ph.D., Nutrition) is responsible for the food education methods used in the study. In addition, she participates in communicating about the study in the social media. Henna’s doctoral dissertation dealt with the link of the food environment with children’s diet.
Essi Skaffari
Essi Skaffari
DOCTORAL RESEARCHER
Essi Skaffari (M.Sc., Nutrition) is involved in the development of the food consumption surveys conducted in the FoodStep project and in her doctoral dissertation examines socio-economic differences in the diets of children of day-care age.
Anna Abdollahi
Anna Abdollahi
DOCTORAL RESEARCHER
Anna Abdollahi (Master of Public Health) is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Food and Nutrition and is involved in the development and implementation of food education methods in the FoodStep project.
Satu Kinnunen
Satu Kinnunen
ProjECT COORDINATOR
Satu Kinnunen (M.Sc., Nutrition) works as a project coordinator at the Department of Food and Nutrition of the University of Helsinki. In the FoodStep project, she is involved in the development of the food education methods and is responsible for contact with early childhood educators in matters related to food education.
Laura Forsman
Laura Forsman
Viikki Food design Factory manager
Laura Forsman leads the food-sector innovation ecosystem that is being built on the Viikki campus of the University of Helsinki. She is working on her doctoral dissertation on consumers’ multisensory perception of value with regard to food products at the University of Vaasa. In the FoodStep project, she leads the planning of co-creation workshops and their facilitation process.

Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Leena Forma
Leena Forma
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Leena Forma, Ph.D., Docent of Health Economics, is responsible for the financial assessment of the FoodStep intervention. She is an expert on the assessment of the costs of different interventions and services. Another researcher will be employed later to the work package led by Leena. Until the end of 2021, Leena will also work as a senior lecturer in the University of Helsinki Faculty of Social Sciences.

Natural Resources Institute Finland

Merja Saarinen
Merja Saarinen
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Merja Saarinen (Ph.D., Acroecology and Sustainable Agriculture) is responsible for the assessments conducted on the climate impacts of food services and the diets of children at day-care centres in the FoodStep project and for the climate perspectives in the intervention. Merja is an expert on the environmental impacts of food during its lifecycle and the methods use in assessing the impacts. She is especially familiar with considering the nutritional quality of food in the assessment of the environmental impacts.
Kirsi Silvennoinen
Kirsi Silvennoinen
RESEARCHER
Kirsi Silvennoinen (Ph.D.) is an expert on food loss, food waste and the methods used in their assessment. Her duties include measuring the amount and quality of the loss, monitoring the changes in it during the project and identifying ways to reduce in cooperation with food services.

Oona Pietiläinen
Oona Pietiläinen
RESEARCHER
Oona Pietiläinen (M.Sc., Environmental Change and politics) is involved in the Food Step project to assess the climate impacts of the diets of children at day-care centres and the meals provided in ECEC.
Venla Kyttä
Venla Kyttä
RESEARCHER
Research Scientist Venla Kyttä (M.Sc.) works in the FoodStep project assessing the climate impacts of food consumption.  

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Kaija Nissinen
Kaija Nissinen
PRINCIPAL LECTURER
TtL, principal lecturer Kaija Nissinen is the contact person for the research project in South Ostrobothnia. Kaija works at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences and coordinates the cooperation related to teaching.