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Seminar – Systems approaches to obesity: The lived experience of young people

May 6, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

All are invited to the CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar:

Systems approaches to obesity: The lived experience of young people.

Dr Wendy Wills, Professor of Food and Public Health, Director of the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care.

Watch a recording of this seminar.

Download the slides from Dr Wills seminar as a PDF.


Doing nothing about obesity is not a realistic option but given the multiple and interlinked causes of excess weight, simplistic solutions are not effective at population level. Local authorities are adopting systems approaches to address obesity and one important element of such an approach is to understand public perceptions about ‘systems’ within a locality, i.e. the factors experienced as influencing weight.

In this seminar I will discuss the rationale for a consultation that enabled young people to talk about growing up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The consultation, part of the local authority agenda to plan healthy weight initiatives, considered the local factors linked with excess weight, from young people’s perspectives. Affordability, crime and anti-social behaviour, transport and places to go and eat were identified by young people as issues that influence obesity in their local area. These findings will inform the direction of preventative weight services.

About Professor Wills

Wendy is a sociologist and a registered nutritionist specialising in public health. Her research focuses on the social and socio-economic determinants of obesity, food practices and malnutrition and she has a particular interest in inequalities and how they are produced and experienced by different population groups. She leads the Prevention and Early Detection in Health and Social Care research theme for the NIHR ARC East of England and is Director of CRIPACC, a multi-disciplinary research centre at the University of Hertfordshire.

University of Hertfordshire profile

Twitter: @Wendy_J_Wills

LinkedIn profile

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May 6, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


United Kingdom


CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar Series