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Food for thought

Please note this event takes place on the second floor and has no step-free access.
Past event - 2019
21 May Doors 6:30 pm
Event 7:00 - 9:30 pm
NOVI, 12 Regent Street,
Cambridge CB2 1DB
Sold Out!
We are what we eat, goes the saying. But what influences our food behaviours, and how do these behaviour affect our life and wellbeing? Our speakers will discuss diets, eating habits, and food choices from a range of different disciplines, including genetics, psychology, sociology, and public health. You may want to hide that bucket of chips under the table for the night!

Is obesity a choice?

Dr Giles Yeo (Principal Research Associate, Metabolic Research Laboratories)
@gilesyeo
The obesity epidemic is a growing healthcare concern in many countries. While this is undoubtedly related to changes in our lifestyle and in the types of food we eat, differences in our genes also play an important role. Our genetic make-up means that some of us are slightly more hungry than others all the time, and therefore tend to eat more. In contrast to prevailing views, obese people are not bad and lazy; they may, in fact, just be fighting their biology.
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Can we nudge people toward better food choices?

Dr James Reynolds (Research Associate, Department of Public Health and Primary Care)
Many people try to eat more fruit and vegetables and avoid unhealthy foods, but they fail to maintain these goals in the long term. These failures are partly due to the strong influence of the food environment, such as an abundance of affordable unhealthy food, and heavy marketing by food companies. A number of different nudges, including changing the placement of foods in supermarkets and changing portion sizes, have shown promise in guiding people toward healthier foods. These interventions provide an opportunity to improve the health of whole populations.
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When it’s ‘good’ to be ‘bad’

Dr Michelle Websters (Lecturer Criminology/Sociology)
@DrMWebster
Culturally, certain foods are characterised as ‘good’ and others as ‘bad’, and these connotations are often transferred onto the people who consume them. In our culture, we tend to view people as ‘bad’ for eating high-fat and high-sugar foods, and ‘good’ for consuming healthier options. For parents, such judgements extend to the food choices made on behalf of their children. So what happens when children need to adopt high-fat diets to manage a drug-resistant disease?
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Big Issues and Bad Choices

Dr Oli Williams (THIS Institute Fellow)
@OliWilliamsPhD
A war has been declared on the ‘obesity epidemic’ in which individuals are often blamed for being obese. But social inequalities and obesity are intricately linked. Evidence demonstrates that more unequal countries tend to have higher incidence of obesity. But why is this and what are the effects of framing the faults of a society as personal failure?
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Creative Reactions

Maria Merridan (Mixed media/printmaking)
Rich Gemmell (Illustrator)
Samantha Dale Fox (Full time medical scientist, part time artist)
As part of the Creative Reactions project, these artists will be presenting their artwork inspired by the research of speakers in this talk series. The artwork will also be on display at our Creative Reactions Exhibition at St Barnabas Church, 24 - 25 May.
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