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Obesity: Tipping Back the Scales of the Nation

  • Wednesday, 19 April 2017
  • The Studio, Manchester
  • 08:30 - 16:15
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

To 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.

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’?

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  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair’s Opening Address

  • Dr Amanda Avery, Assistant professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nottingham (confirmed)
"Welcome and Introduction"
"Evidence Based Policies to Tackle Obesity"

Preventing obesity-related ill-health by addressing the influences that lead to excess bodyweight throughout life and supporting policy-making to tackle the social, economic and cultural factors that contribute to obesity and the inequalities in health caused by obesity.

  • Dr Becca Beeken, Senior Research Psychologist, University College London (confirmed)
"Inspiring Behavioural Change"

Supporting people to improve their health choices and behaviours can prevent and reduce levels of obesity. Understanding which strategies are effective in promoting behaviour change can be instrumental in developing successful interventions and better outcomes.


Question and Answer Session


Coffee in the Networking Area

"Engage the Disengaged"

This presentation will focus on the imbalance between the effort that is put into kids that are already very sporty compared to those children that are not invested in sports/exercise and are in danger of being overlooked and excluded.

  • Sharon Egan, Responsibility Deal Policy Lead, Department of Health (confirmed)
"Childhood Obesity: Prevention and Early Intervention"

Today nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. Overweight and obese children usually go on to become obese adults and will be exposed to the adverse consequences. Once established, obesity is notoriously difficult to treat, so prevention and early intervention are very important.

"A Modern Street Play Revival"

Playing Out began in Bristol in 2009 as a resident-led creative intervention enabling children to play out freely on their own street. In response to interest from across the UK, Playing Out CIC now exists to support the growth of a national grassroots movement for street play.

"Obesity: An Eating Disorder"

"Eat Think Change” is a group treatment programme developed by the weight management service and commenced in
2015. It is a new, innovative disordered eating group delivered in conjunction with a specialist dietitian. This group begins to address the treatment gap for patients with an eating disorder related to their obesity.


Question and Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area


Chair’s Afternoon Address

"Fitness to Fatness and Back Again"

This presentation will outline data collected in the SportsLinx and Swanlinx projects in Liverpool and Swansea and will share information about changes in fitness and fatness over time. The “back again section” will also focus on Liverpool and Swansea work and will seek to share where interventions have been implemented to try to increase physical activity.

  • Charlotte Evans, Lecturer in Nutritional Epidemiology, Leeds University (confirmed)
"Curbing the Nation’s Sweet Tooth"

The latest diet and nutrition figures confirm that we still consume far more sugar than is good for us which can lead to weight gain and obesity.


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Break

  • Laurie Eyles, Team Lead, NHS Lothian Weight Management Service (confirmed)
"Diabetes Prevention and Weight Management"

Avoiding weight gain and managing overweight and obesity are critical in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The development and delivery of evidence based, sustainable and targeted interventions for diabetes prevention is required, so how do we make this happen in challenging financial times? An overview of the work we are doing in NHS Lothian to create extended pathways of weight management bringing together health, social care and third party sectors focusing on local, community based interventions.

  • Kylie Murrell, Staff Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
"Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Supporting Healthy Weight in the Workplace"

Obesity is one of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s priorities for staff wellbeing. Building on previous programmes, the Trust is developing and implementing a range of initiatives that aim to strike a balance between prevention and treatment.


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks


Event Close

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The Studio, Manchester

The Studio, Manchester

Situated in the heart of Manchester's iconic Northern Quarter and just a couple of minutes walk away from the city's major transport links; The Studio is a spacious, contemporary meeting centre atop The Hive building on Lever St.     

Whatever the legendary Manchester weather has to throw at you, you’ll always find the warmest of welcomes at The Studio.

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who will attend

  • Academics
  • Bariatric surgeons
  • Cardiologists
  • Chairs
  • Chief Executives
  • Chief Medical Officers
  • Clinical/Medical Directors
  • Clinicians
  • Coaches/ Trainers
  • Commissioners
  • Consultants in Public Health/Diet/Rehabilitation
  • Councillors
  • 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
  • GPs
  • 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
  • Paediatricians
  • 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