A third of the world's food is wasted – how can we stop the rot?

The Guardian and Tesco recently organised a roundtable to discuss the issue of food waste. This comes soon after Tesco, with help from WRAP, announced its figures for food waste for the first time.

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Are lower carbon diets healthier? Adam Briggs explains new research to model the effects of taxing greenhouse gas-intensive foods.

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University of Oxford Grade 7 scale £29,541 – £36,298 per annum, pro rata.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 8 November

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant position to work in the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) with the Food Systems research team for a period of 12 weeks, reporting to John Ingram, the ECI Food Systems Programme Leader. The post holder will have responsibility for carrying out research in support of the ‘Food and climate justice’ project under the joint supervision of ECI, CCAFS and Oxfam. This project will build on the Oxfam briefing paper ‘Growing disruption: climate change, food and the fight against hunger’ and will consider how change in climate variability alters the conditions that commonly weaken poor people’s access to food and utilisation of food, and with what effects.

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The number of obese adults in the UK could be reduced by 180,000 with a 20% tax on sugary drinks, say researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Reading. The tax could raise over £275 million for the Treasury.

The researchers from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford and the Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading have published their findings in the British Medical Journal.

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CCAFS Policy Guidance Coordinator

School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Grade 7: £29,541 p.a.

The CCAFS research programme is a major research partnership between the CGIAR and the global environmental change community. Within the CCAFS program, multi-stakeholder regional scenarios are developed and used in planning and research in East Africa, West Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America and the Andes region. Scenarios are alternate, plausible futures that capture uncertainties and systems complexity in a coherent and plausible fashion.

We seek a Policy Guidance Coordinator to further the impact of the scenarios development on actual policy and decision making processes. We use a “back-casting” method with stakeholders to identify critical policy outcomes, and then develop strategies and interventions to ensure these can be achieved under alternate scenarios. The policy guidance coordinator will play a critical role in the further process of embedding these strategies in ongoing and new institutional processes and investment plans.

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By Colin Mitchell, University of Oxford and Mike Rayner, University of Oxford

An EU decision to allow health claims to be made about fructose has angered obesity experts who blame the fruit sugar for rising obesity levels in the US. The decision allows food and drink manufacturers to claim the “consumption of foods containing fructose leads to a lower blood glucose rise compared to foods containing sucrose or glucose”, where at least 30% of other sugars have been replaced by fructose.

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A new publication in BMJ Open by Oxford researchers looks at the possible impact on chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, if the UK were to introduce a tax on greenhouse gas emissions on food and drink.

Read the full article in BMJ Open:

Assessing the impact on chronic disease of incorporating the societal cost of greenhouse gases into the price of food: an econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study, Adam D M Briggs, Ariane Kehlbacher, Richard Tiffin, Tara Garnett, Mike Rayner, Peter Scarborough, BMJ Open 2013;3:e003543 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003543

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Feeding Healthy Minds

"What mothers eat before and during pregnancy can have a lifelong impact on their child’s health and development. Jenni speaks to academic, author, and founder of Food And Behaviour Research (FAB), Dr Alex Richardson, ahead of a conference they’ve organised in London. On the agenda is the role of diet in how our brain develops and functions, and its impact on our moods, our behaviour and our capacity to learn."

Listen to the interview on the BBC Radio 4 website
[starts at 35:30 into the programme]:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dsm3t

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Weight of Modernity: An Intergenerational Study of the Rise of Obesity

By Banwell, C., Broom, D., Davies, A., Dixon, J.

A new book by three leading Australian academics takes a fresh look at the obesity problem, seeing it as a social phenomenon as well as a public health problem.

Weight of Modernity is published by Springer

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We're pleased to offer a guest blog post by Elisabetta Aurino, originally published on the Young Lives website for World Food Day.

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