Diet, Obesity And Health: The Queens Lecture with Professor Susan Jebb


susan jebb


Diet, Obesity And Health: The Queens Lecture

Professor Susan Jebb


Date posted: 05 November 2018

On the 5th November at 5 p.m in TU Berlin, Professor Susan Jebb spoke about "Diet, obesity and health: from science to policy" at the annual Queens Lecture.

Poor diet is one of the leading global causes of avoidable ill-health. Obesity, driven by overconsumption, is a key issue, and in most high and middle income countries we also eat too much saturated fat, sugar and salt and too little fibre, which increase health risks independent of weight. Despite the widespread acceptance of the mantra “prevention is better than cure”, prevention remains the cinderella of medicine with chronic under-investment in preventative health research. Nutrition research is a crucial component. If we are to make the case to reprioritise healthcare spending and encourage people to change personal eating habits, we need to have confidence that dietary interventions to prevent disease will be effective. But nutrition has become one of the most contentious issues in science and consumers increasingly turn to their peers and not scientists.


The challenge for science is to generate robust evidence of the relationship between diet and health and effective actions to change behaviour. We must also communicate the evidence to policymakers, industry and the public. They need instruments to create a virtuous circle where consumers demand healthier food and industry competes to respond, offering and promoting food and drinks in a way which further drives healthier choices.  The challenge for government is to put in place the conditions which make this more likely for science, for industry and citizens.

The Queen's Lectures series

The Queen’s Lectures were founded by Queen Elizabeth II as a gift to the City of Berlin on the occasion of her state visit in 1965. Since 1997 the Queen’s Lecture takes place at the TU Berlin. Each year a renowned British scientist delivers a lecture on her or his area of expertise.