UK scientists gather to discuss obesity

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

'Growing up in an obesogenic environment', 'Have we sacrificed our
children on the altar of a free market?', 'Endocrine disrupters and
obesity - old chemicals, new questions' and other presentations
will lead a UK symposium next month.

The eighth Plymouth Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome will take as its theme the progress or otherwise that has been made since UK government targets for the prevention of obesity were introduced 10 years ago. "It is now 10 years since targets for the prevention of obesity were first published, but the country's waistlines continue to expand,"​ said symposium organiser, Professor Terry Wilkin of the Peninsula Medical School. "The intervening period has nevertheless witnessed an enormous growth of research into obesity and its two main co-morbidities - diabetes and heart disease. This year's symposium will see experts from around the country tell us where we are in our understanding of the problem, its causes and its management. This symposium is a must for anyone involved in the research and treatment of conditions related to diabetes, obesity and the metabolic syndrome." ​Presentations at the symposium will include:

  • 'Growing up in an obesogenic environment' by Dr Iain Buchan of the University of Manchester. Dr Buchan will explore the recent geographical and social dynamics of body mass index among young children, together with physical fitness and body image in older children

  • 'The EarlyBird diabetes study' by Professor Terry Wilkin of the Peninsula Medical School. Professor Wilkin will reveal what has been learned from the study's eight years of research

  • 'Have we sacrificed our children on the altar of a free market?' by Dr Tim Lobstein of the International Obesity Task Force. Dr Lobstein will investigate whether enough is being done to protect children's rights to health and nutrition, and identify the commercial interests that are potentially undermining children's health

  • 'From UKPDS to 4-T: benefits and limitations of today's treatments' by Professor Rury Holman of the University of Oxford who will discuss the effectiveness of major trials to modify the risk factors inherent in Type 2 diabetes

  • 'The dinner lady' by Jeanette Orrey of the Soil Association. Orrey will talk about her work with the Food for Life Partnership and how she is working alongside schools to help develop their menus to provide pupils with freshly prepared nutritious meals

  • 'Whatever's happening to childhood diabetes' by Dr Chris Patterson of Queen's University, Belfast. Dr Patterson will outline the world distribution and trends in childhood Type 1 diabetes, and summarise recent findings on the emergence of Type 2 diabetes in this age group

  • 'Endocrine disrupters and obesity - old chemicals, new questions' by Professor Tom Hutchinson of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Professor Hutchinson will look at how xenoestrogens and other endocrine disrupting chemicals can disrupt the hormonal signalling pathways that play important roles during development

Related topics: Research, Cardiovascular health

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