Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Oxford London Lecture, now in its fifth year, aims to connect the widest possible audience to some of Oxford's ground-breaking research.

Professor Susan Jebb from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford will deliver this year’s Oxford London Lecture, entitled “Knowledge, nudge and nanny: opportunities to improve the nation’s diet”

Date and location: 17 March 2015, Westminster

Poor diet is the leading risk factor in the UK for morbidity and premature death, accounting for 12.5% of the total burden of disease, primarily due to cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition, two thirds of adults are overweight or obese - the consequence of sustained overconsumption - contributing a further 8.5% of all ill-health. If we are to create a sustainable healthcare system we need a stronger focus on the prevention of these avoidable diseases.

Fortunately the fundamental components of a healthy diet are well established - we need to consume less saturated fat, sugar and salt while instead eating more fibre, fruit and vegetables. Around 33,000 premature deaths could be avoided each year in the UK if we achieved the dietary recommendations for good health. But the simple concept of eating well belies the complexity of the change required and we need to rise to the challenge with a far more sophisticated portfolio of interventions than hitherto.

At best actions to date have been well-intentioned, but at worst they have been patchy and inconsistent. We have relied heavily on increasing knowledge, educating individuals to make better choices, while elsewhere condoning a food system that provides and promotes less healthy options. New research shows that most of what we eat is not the result of a reasoned choice, but rather that the purchase and consumption of food often occurs below the level of conscious decision-making. This implies that nudges in the environment to change the default choice to a healthier alternative will be an important component to improving eating habits. But some question whether this will be enough. Is stronger policy action required – a nanny to protect the nation from eating itself to an early grave?

Book a ticket

Similar stories

AIMday in Experimental Medicine in Psychiatry - registration for academics now open

Are you an academic interested in finding out how your knowledge can be used to solve industry challenges? Would you like to widen your network? Meet potential collaborators / future employees? Gain insights into relevant funding schemes? If you answer YES to any of the above, now is the time to register for the AIMday in Experimental Medicine in Psychiatry.

AIMday in Women's Health - registration for academics now open

Are you an academic interested in finding out how your knowledge can be used to solve industry challenges? Would you like to widen your network? Meet potential collaborators / future employees? Gain insights into relevant funding schemes? If you answer YES to any of the above, now is the time to register for the AIMday in Women's Health.

Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Meeting opens to wider medical community for first time in over a century

Established in 1907, the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland (AoPGBI) has traditionally only invited the highest-profile doctors and researchers to its annual meeting. Now, they have made the landmark decision to open their (virtual) doors to the wider medical community, primarily to clinicians, early career researchers, discovery scientists and industry affiliates.

Virtual AIMday in the Microbiome - registration for academics now open

On Wednesday 1 July we are hosting an AIMday in the Microbiome, bringing academic and clinical excellence from across the University of Oxford together with industry to help answer the most pressing challenges in this area, as identified by industry.

AIMday Antimicrobial Resistance - registration for academics now open

Are you an academic interested in finding out how your knowledge can be used to solve industry challenges? Would you like to widen your network? Meet potential collaborators / future employees? Gain insights into relevant funding schemes?

Celebrating International Women's Day 2019

The Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG) celebrates International Women's Day