"Well fed? The health and environmental implications of our food choices" by Prof Susan Jebb, Dr Tara Garnett & Prof Mike Rayner

Past Event

06 November 2014, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Food and wine
© iStock

Non-fat, low-fat, saturated fat, trans fats, healthy fats - 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 make wise choices about the food we eat, and what impact do our consumption habits have, not just on our own health but that of the planet?


  • Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Tara Garnett, Principal Investigator, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food
  • Professor Mike Rayner, Principal Investigator, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and Professor of Population Health, University of Oxford

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This seminar will be live webcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UbwkWsEdmU

About the Speakers

Professor Susan Jebb is a nutrition scientist and her research interests are focused on how what we eat affects the risk of gaining weight or becoming obese and the interventions that might be effective to help people lose weight or reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases. She has also conducted a series of randomised controlled trials to study the impact of dietary changes on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In general, this work highlights that body weight is a more important risk factor for ill-health than differences in the nutritional composition of the diet. She has strong scientific collaborations with the Behaviour and Health Research unit at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Human Nutrition Research unit, where she was a Programme Leader for many years.

She is also very interested 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 chaired the cross-government Expert Advisory Group on obesity from 2007-11. She is now a member of the Public Health England Obesity Programme Board. She also Chairs the DH Public Health Responsibility Deal Food Network, developing voluntary agreements with industry to improve the food environment. She is one of the Chairs of the NICE Public Health Advisory Committees. She is actively involved in a number of events and media projects to engage the public in issues relating to diet and health. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to public health. She is a Trustee and former Chair of the Association for the Study of Obesity.

Dr Tara Garnett is a Principal Investigator at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and she initiated, and runs the Food Climate Research Network, now based at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.

Her work focuses on the contribution that the food system makes to greenhouse gas emissions and the scope for emissions reduction, looking at the technological options, at what could be achieved by changes in behaviour and how policies could help promote both these approaches. She is particularly interested in the relationship between emissions reduction objectives and other social and ethical concerns, particularly human health, livelihoods, and animal welfare. Much of her focus is on livestock, since this represents a nodal point where many of these issues converge.

Tara is keen to collaborate through the FCRN with other organisations to undertake research, organise events and build and extend interdisciplinary, intersectoral knowledge in this field.

Professor Mike Rayner is a Principal Investigator on the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and Director of the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for NCD Prevention, which is based within the Nuffield Department of Population Health of the University of Oxford, and which he founded in 1993.

Mike's particular research interests are in food labelling, food marketing, food taxes and the relationship between a healthy diet and sustainable diet.

Mike is also Chair of Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming in the UK, and Chair of its Childrens' Food Campaign in the UK. He is a trustee of the UK Health Forum, Chair of the Nutrition Expert Group for the European Heart Network based in Brussels and a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the International Obesity Task Force. He is also an ordained priest in the Church of England.