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Obesity: Tipping Back the Scales of the Nation

April 19 @ 8:30 am - 4:15 pm

Phone Telephone: (0161) 376 9007           Book now Register your interest Previous event  View Programme


Overview                       View Programme

obesity-reducing-the-nations-waistline-normal-web-banner-sizeTo further the emphasis on public health matters, Open Forum Events are pleased to introduce the Obesity: Tipping Back the Scales of the Nation conference.
This conference aims to promote greater understanding of the prevalence of obesity and explore some of the measures that can provide positive solutions.

Increasing levels of Obesity not only adversely affects current population health but will impact on the risks for future generations and according to the Chief Medical Officer tackling obesity should be made a national priority.
The latest figures published reveal that 58% of women and 65% of men were overweight or obese in 2014, with an increased prevalence of 26% as compared to 15% in 1993. Childhood obesity is also a major cause for concern with more than 1 in 5 children in Reception, and 1 in 3 children in Year 6 classified as obese or overweight. Children from poorer backgrounds and twice as likely to be obese than children living in less deprived circumstances. The latest predictions in regard to future levels of obesity in the UK have been revised upwards, stating that by 2030 it is estimated that 74% of men and 64% of women in the UK will be overweight. It is thought that within the next decade obesity will overtake smoking as the greatest cause of cancer.

NHS England spends around £16 billion a year on the direct medical costs of diabetes and conditions related to being overweight or obese; over £2bn more than is spent on fire and police services. The cost to individuals, society and the wider economy is much greater.

Join us at Obesity: Tipping Back the Scales of the Nation where all the evidence will be reviewed, digested and discussed. A line-up of expert speakers will highlight the main issues in prevalence rates, causes and possible solutions. The efficacy of the very latest initiatives and an insight as to what more can be done will be debated and opinions shared. The conference offers delegates the optimum platform for knowledge sharing, interactive conversation and peer networking.

CPDcertified event

More details                 View Programme

In 2010 the UK was classed as the ‘fat man’ of Europe, topping the league table out of 20 European Union nations and having one of the world’s fastest obesity growth rates. Official figures published in October 2016 show that the UK has now moved down the league to 5th position behind Malta, Latvia, Hungary and Estonia. On the surface this looks like an improvement, however, it asks the question has the UK really improved or has it just been overtaken?

There are many theories as to why people are overweight. The most obvious cause is overeating and physical inactivity, however, other factors, such as genetics, culture, behaviour and environment can all play a part. Socio-economic and geographical factors are also known to have a direct link to obesity levels, creating significant inequalities. For example, children from low-income families are more likely to have a predilection for being obese, as are people from Northern England.

Obesity affects health and wellbeing on a monumental scale. Being overweight increases risk significantly of developing illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis. A decline in quality of life and mental health are also consequences of carrying excess weight. Life expectancy is reduced for people who are moderately obese by an average of three years, however, for those who are morbidly obese it is eight to ten years.

There are many initiatives across local authorities, the NHS, education and public, third sector and private partners in the battle against obesity. The Change4Life programme, NHS Health Checks, improved food and drink labelling, recommended levels of physical activity and nutritional intake plus, the Public Health Responsibility Deal and the child measurement programme, to name just a few, are pivotal in stabilising rates. Most recently the Childhood Obesity Strategy gave emphasis to increased physical activity in schools and a voluntary scheme with manufacturers to reduce the levels of sugar in products that are popular amongst children. The aim is to reduce sugar levels by 20% in the next five years. In addition, the Government’s tax on sugary drinks will come into force by 2018 with the revenue raised going towards sport in schools. Primary schools are tasked with ensuring pupils embark on 60 minutes of exercise a day and a new voluntary “healthy schools rating scheme” will be taken into account during school inspections.

Encouraging a diet of behaviour change to choose a healthier lifestyle is key to reducing the nation’s waistlines, however, direct measures to combat obesity are also are a part of the solution, including offering drug treatments, bariatric surgery and weight loss programmes as part of the NHS budget.

Join us at Obesity: Tipping Back the Scales of the Nation for all the latest news, views and opinions as we look in depth at the growing issue of obesity. How can the trend towards obesity be halted and how important is it to stop the increasing acceptance that being overweight is the ‘norm’?

Benefits of Attending                 View Programme

  • Hear about the current state of obesity in the UK today
  • Discover what the ambitions are for future outcomes
  • Gain an insight into the very latest thinking that is driving strategy
  • Hear what the costs and consequences are of an overweight nation
  • Discuss and debate which programmes are having a positive impact
  • What are the major causes and drivers that lead to obesity?
  • What can be done to encourage behaviour change?
  • Learn from examples of innovative initiatives that are positively contributing to supporting prevention
    and population health
  • Explore how will the war on sugar impact
  • Listen to a synopsis as to what interventions are needed to deal with Childhood Obesity
  • Engage with experts in obesity and its related risks
  • Gain an understanding of the crisis in levels of Type II Diabetes
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate current issues practices and those for the
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain CPD credits

Please see Terms and Conditions.


LighterLife_Change_logo (002)Established in 1989, LighterLife combines a choice of nutritious plans for fast weight loss and groups to help people understand more about their relationship with food.

Over 25 years of scientific research has gone into making sure that the nutrition in LighterLife’s Foodpacks enables clients to lose weight in a healthy, quick and reliable way. LighterLife has been researching weight loss since the company launched and its evidence is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at major medical conferences around the world.

LighterLife’s group work facilitated by its own network of Counsellors is based on its own unique programme which includes cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and transactional analysis (TA).

Discover more at Lighterlife.com.

Dr Amanda Avery, Assistant professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nottingham and Chairperson, Obesity Specialist Group, The British Dietetic Association (BDA)
Amanda is a registered Dietitian with over 20 years of experience working as a community Dietitian in the NHS before moving into academia.
Whilst on a secondment in Public Health in 2000 Amanda was tasked with exploring the feasibility of referring patients from primary care to the commercial slimming sector. This was part of a larger agenda focussing on the development of a local obesity strategy and reducing health inequalities.
She is currently Chair of the British Dietetic Association’s Obesity group and has helped to develop research questions including answering the question ‘what interventions can reduce the consumption of SSBs by children and lead to changes in body composition?’
She was also involved in the Public Health England task group investigating fiscal and other measures to reduce the consumption of sugar sweetened foods and beverages.
She has active research which is on-going looking at weight management during both pregnancy and the post-natal period, involving the commercial sector. Also the effect of target setting on weight loss outcomes at 12 months. She is a member of the European Dietetic Association’s Public Health group.
For the past 8 years Amanda has worked at the University of Nottingham as part of the core team delivering the Masters of Nutrition and Dietetic programme and a portfolio of postgraduate modules including Obesity management, Paediatric Nutrition, Diabetes and Public Health Nutrition.


Jamie Blackshaw, Team Leader, Obesity and Healthy Weight, Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England
jamie_blackshaw_portraitJamie Blackshaw leads Public Health England’s Obesity and Healthy Weight team and is responsible for working across PHE and with national and local partners, to develop and deliver action to prevent and tackle excess weight. This includes action on preventative whole systems approaches; developing the evidence base and support to local public health teams on weight management services and contributing towards strategic planning. A Registered Public Health Nutritionist, he has worked within Government nutrition since 1998, including providing expert advice across Government on school food, cooking skills and early years nutrition. Jamie recently completed an MSc in Health Policy, graduating with distinction from Imperial College London and was recently awarded the Nutrition Society’s Public Health Nutrition Medal 2015, in recognition of excellence in public health nutrition.


Robin Ireland, Director of Research, Food Active
robin_ireland_portraitFrom 2002 to 2016, Robin Ireland was Chief Executive of Heart of Mersey and its social enterprises, HM Partnerships and the European Healthy Stadia Network. Heart of Mersey was established in 2003 and is an internationally-recognised heart health charity based in Liverpool. The charity advocates for policies at local, national and international levels which enable healthier lifestyles.

Robin is now Director of Research for Food Active, a healthy weight campaign established by the North West Directors of Public Health in 2013, and is a Board member of Liverpool Food People, a Sustainable Food Cities initiative. Food Active specialises in local food policy such as the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight and campaigns such as Give Up Loving Pop. Food Active is also responsible for Food in Care, a food and nutrition resource developed in partnership with carers of Children Looked After.

Robin is on several national food policy groups, is a Board Member of the Children’s Health Fund and is also Director of Research for Healthy Stadia.

Robin gained his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Liverpool in 2007. He was elected Member of the Faculty of Public Health through Distinction in 2015.


Dr Becca Beeken, Senior Research Psychologist at University College London
Becca_beeken_portraitDr Rebecca Beeken is a Senior Research Psychologist in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health, at University College London. She is primarily interested in the development and evaluation of lifestyle interventions, with a focus on behaviour change interventions for obesity. She currently works on a number of randomised controlled trials, including a series of studies on the benefits of lifestyle change for cancer survivors and people with learning disabilities, and she recently completed a trial of a brief habit-based weight management intervention within primary care. Other research interests include the psychological and biological consequences of weight loss, particularly the impact of weight change on cancer risk. Rebecca is also a board member for the charity Weight Concern, which aims to guide the development of more effective programs to prevent and treat overweight and obesity.
Sharon Egan, Public Health, Responsibility Deal Policy Lead, Department of Health
sharon_egan_portraitSharon Egan is in the childhood obesity team at the Department of Health, leading on public services obesity policy which includes local authorities, NHS England and Whitehall. She joined the Civil Service in 2000, working for HSE on their Partnership programme. She has subsequently worked for Healthcare Commission, Care Quality Commission as well as the Food Standards Agency where she lead on Earned Recognition policy and the Compliance and Enforcement Strategy. Before this, she was a scientist in genetics and microbiology, specialising in antibiotic genes.



Alice Ferguson, Director, Playing Out
alice_ferguson_portraitAlice’s varied background revolves around environmental campaigning, research, community activism and children’s rights. In 2009, Alice and her neighbour, artist Amy Rose, came up with the idea of temporarily transforming their Bristol street into a safe ‘shared space’ where children could play freely outside their front door, simply by closing the road to through-traffic for a short time after school. This model was intended as an imterim solution and a way to rebuild the conditions needed for street play, or ‘playing out’, to be a normal part of children’s everyday lives.


Alice is now Director of Playing Out CIC, set up to support a growing movement of residents actively involved in making their streets a place to play. Playing Out has supported resident-led action in over 400 street communities across the UK, providing advice and hands-on support to resident ‘activators’, local organisations and policy-makers. As a result, over 10,000 children have had the chance to ‘play out’ on their own streets and there is a growing awareness of the urgent need to restore children’s right to play where they live.
Twitter: @aliceplayingout @PlayingOutCIC
Website: www.playingout.net
Email: [email protected]


Charlotte Evans, Lecturer in Nutritional Epidemiology, Leeds University
charlotte_evans_portriatDr Charlotte Evans is a Lecturer in Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Leeds and teaches nutrition policy. She has a PhD in Nutrition, a BSc Hons in Biochemistry as well as a MSc in Statistics. Her research interests mainly focus on improving what we eat and she has a particular interest in improving dietary quality for optimum health in children and young people. She has published widely on the impact of free sugars and other carbohydrates on health as well as on evaluations of programmes and policies to reduce consumption of free sugars. She was recently awarded the Silver Medal for contributions to Public Health Nutrition by the UK Nutrition Society.
Charlotte has contributed to text books, provided information to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and worked with the food industry in the areas of public health and nutritional epidemiology. She has spoken at many conferences across the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe, Kuwait, the US and Canada including key note presentations and is on the editorial board for the British Journal of Nutrition. She has also regularly featured on television, radio and in newspaper articles as a nutritional expert including BBC breakfast, Sky News, Channel 4 news and the Today programme.
Charlotte is interested in working with all key stakeholders, including those working in the food industry and policy makers, to help increase the accessibility of healthy food in order to help everyone make healthier food choices and to reduce inequalities in health.


Kylie Murrell, Staff Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Kylie_Murrell_portraitKylie is Staff Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – one of the country’s top performing Foundation Trusts. In this role, she is responsible for developing, promoting and embedding staff health and wellbeing within the organisation, based on behaviour change principles and workplace health guidelines. Northumbria Healthcare is one of NHS England’s ‘exemplar employers’ taking part in the Healthy Workforce pilot. Obesity is one of the key areas of work, with initiatives covering healthy weight, physical activity and the food environment. Kylie works in partnership with colleagues across several departments including Dietetics, Staff Psychology, Occupational Health, Physiotherapy and HR to ensure the successful delivery of a number of internal programmes.
Kylie has a public health background, with previous roles in health improvement (mental health and workplace health), and at the North East Strategic Health Authority and Public Health North East. Kylie gained her Master of Public Health (MPH) in 2011.

Booking Information

If you would like assistance registering your place please contact Luke Boulter on 0161 376 9007 and we will be happy to assist.

Discounts for 3 or more delegates are available.

Want to pay by invoice? If you select your tickets and click on the green Register button. Once you’re through to the registration page, you can switch payment method from Credit/ Debit Card to Pay by Invoice– if you get stuck please call us on 0161 376 9007 and we will be happy to help.

Job titles include:

Bariatric surgeons
Chief Executives
Chief Medical Officers
Clinical/Medical Directors
Coaches/ Trainers
Consultants in Public Health/Diet/Rehabilitation
DCSF, DH, DCMS and Cross-Government Teams
Diabetologists & Endocrinologists
Dieticians & Nutritionists
Director of Sports and Recreational Facilities
Directors of Strategic Development
Directors/Heads of Public Health
Education, Children and Young People’s Services
Exercise Specialists
Finance Directors
Head Teachers
Heads of Charities/Third Sector Organisations
Heads/Leads Clinical Commissioning Groups
Health and Wellbeing Board Members
Health Improvement Teams
Health Visitors, Practice, Community & School Nurses
Local Authority Executives
Obesity Clinicians
Parental and Family Services
Public Health Clinicians
Public Health Directors
Research Directors/Professors/Facilitators/Lecturers/Associates
Senior Nurses
Social Marketing and Behaviour Change Teams
Specialist obesity & diabetes nurses
Sports Leaders
Sure Start, Children’s Centres and Early Years
Wellbeing Teams


The Studio
51 Lever Street
M1 1FN

Hotel 1:

Travelodge 22 Great Ancoats St, Manchester M4 5AZ  From £65.00 https://www.travelodge.co.uk/

Hotel 2:
Premier Inn Manchester City Centre Portland Street Hotel: From £51 http://www.premierinn.com/en/bookingSummary!execute.action

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Phone Telephone: (0161) 376 9007      email Email: [email protected]      Book now


April 19
8:30 am - 4:15 pm
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Open Forum Events Ltd
(0161) 376 9007
[email protected]


The Studio
51 Lever St
Manchester, M1 1FNUnited Kingdom
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0161 237 1201