How strong is the link between processed food and obesity?
Obesity is one of the most visible public health problems right across the world.
The World Health Organization started sounding alarm bells in the 1990s.
But despite various interventions by governments, so-called “globesity” has continued its inexorable progress.
It is clear that our changing diet plays a role, and many experts have singled out highly processed and refined foods as a major problem, particularly in the West.
But in this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we ask: What is it about these particular types of food that contribute to obesity?
And given the complexity of the issue, would eliminating them from our diets actually make much of a difference?
Professor David Raubenheimer, Leonard Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
David Raubenheimer joined the University of Sydney in April 2013 as Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology.
David is a leading expert in nutritional ecology: the discipline that studies how nutrition-related aspects of an animal’s environment interact with its biology to determine health and fitness outcomes.
His approach is comparative, using ecological and evolutionary diversity to understand these interactions.
His studies of insects, fish, birds and a variety of mammals have helped develop a new approach to human nutrition-related problems, such as the dietary causes of obesity.
Dr Amanda Grech, Research Fellow, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
Dr Amanda Grech is a nutrition epidemiologist and accredited practising dietitian currently working as a research fellow at the University of Sydney and the Charles Perkins Centre.
Her doctoral thesis in the field of nutrition and dietetics examined plausible hypotheses that could explain the rising prevalence of obesity in the Australian population.
She currently works in the field of nutrition epidemiology where she explores diet-disease relationships to large population data sets in multi-disciplinary team.
In 2019 she was awarded the Joan Woodhill Prize for best thesis in the field of Nutrition and Dietetics.