Diet, obesity and health: from science to policy
Poor diet is the leading risk factor for ill health in the UK, carrying more risk than smoking or hypertension.
But in an era where we seem to be constantly bombarded with often conflicting messages about our diets, is all this information actually making us any healthier? How can we cut through media hysteria and use the science to make wise choices about the food we eat and how can the Government make sensible policy decisions to help with the impact our consumption habits have on our health.
Susan Jebb is Professor of Diet and Population Health in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford; co-leads the Wellcome Trust-funded LEAP project; and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an NIHR Senior Investigator and a member of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Her research centres on how what we eat affects our health and how we might change dietary habits to prevent or treat diet-related diseases. She has led a series of dietary intervention studies to examine the impact of diet composition on cardiovascular risk and clinical trials to identify effective treatments for obesity. She also co-leads a large research programme funded by the Wellcome Trust to consider the interactions between food, health and the environment with a focus on population-level interventions to reduce the consumption of meat
Susan has a particular interest in how scientific evidence on diet is translated into policy and practice, by government, industry, the public health community and the media. She was the science advisor for the Foresight obesity report and subsequently seconded (0.2FTE) to the Department of Health as a science advisor on obesity and food policy (2007-2015). She chaired the government Expert Advisory Group on Obesity (2007-11) and the Responsibility Deal Food Network (2011-15). She is a member of the Public Health England Obesity Programme Board. She is actively involved in a series of events, including media projects to engage the public in issues relating to diet and health