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Fabrice Etilé, 2015 winner of the AXA Research Award

The role of identity in health behaviours

Fabrice Etilé, INRA research director; Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris-Jourdan Economic Sciences Joint Research Unit (CNRS, ENS, EHESS, ENPC, INRA). © INRA
Updated on 02/03/2017
Published on 04/14/2016
Keywords: PORTRAIT - prize - award

Research Director at INRA, Fabrice Etilé shares his work between the Ecole d’économie de Paris and the INRA Nutrition and Social Sciences Research Unit.  His everyday work focuses on food systems and health behaviours from numerous points of view: dynamics, the social responsibility of consumers, economics, econometrics, public policies, etc.

Fabric Etilé was one of the 2015 winners of the AXA International Research Awards, which are given to research scientists in mid-career to acknowledge the quality of their work and their cross-disciplinary openness.  Thanks to this award, Fabrice Etilé saw his project on the role of identity in health behaviours rewarded by a grant of €250,000 for a three-year period.  The awards ceremony took place on 8 April 2016, and singled out 44 research projects, sponsored by prestigious institutions in 16 countries - such as the Ecole d’économie de Paris.

Identity and health behaviour

The notion of identity, or in other words all the characteristics which make us what we are, may have a greater impact on our diet, health and economic behaviours than anyone previously thought.

In order to encourage better health behaviours, the project led by Fabric Etilé intends to explore how different dimensions of identity influence our health-related behaviours.

How do the dynamics of identity affect our health choices?

Social identity, characterised by our social interactions, our work and the community in which we live, may thus be involved in the dietary transitions that are now being observed (for example, in emerging countries) while individual traits of personal identity, such as childhood memories or physical appearance, may intervene in our relationship with the future and with random life events, and thus in how we take care of our health today.

In the longer term, this project may enable the development of better strategies to prevent behaviours that are a risk to our health; firstly by understanding the interactions between technology, food cultures, social identity and health, and secondly by mapping the links between present and future personal identities.  Underpinned by a dual challenge which consists in measuring identity and how changes could be made to it, this work offers interesting opportunities to develop political interventions that might make different populations reflect on who they want to be in several years' time.

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Chairs, post-doctoral grants and awards from the AXA Research Fund

The AXA Research Fund is a scientific sponsorship initiative by the French insurance group AXA.  It aims to accelerate scientific progress in order to better understand and cope with risks of an environmental or socio-economic nature, and those that affect human lives.

Each year, the AXA Fund provides support for academic research by funding different mechanisms and projects following a call for proposals (research chairs, post-doctoral grants) and by rewarding innovative research scientists (AXA Award).  Since it was set up in 2007, the commitment of the AXA Fund to academic research has been reflected by its support worth €149 million for 492 projects in 33 countries.

Today, Fabrice Etilé joins the ranks of prizewinners from the Ecole d’économie de Paris, supported by the AXA Research Fund.  As an INRA research scientist, he joins Chloé Boitard (2010, Risks affecting human health), Morgane Urli (2009, Environmental risks) and Zhun Mao (2008, Environmental risks) , all of whose projects had been submitted by INRA.

Mini-CV

41 years old

  • 2015 Research director - Ecole d’économie de Paris, UMR Paris-Jourdan Sciences économiques (CNRS, ENS, EHESS, ENPC, INRA).
  • 2008 Associated scientist - Ecole d’économie de Paris
  • 2001 Research scientist - Nutrition and Social Sciences Research Unit.

 

  • 2013 Accreditation to direct research - Ecole des Hautes études en sciences sociales
  • 2000 Doctorate in Economics - Université Panthéon Sorbonne
  • 1996 Engineering degree - Ecole Centrale de Paris.