Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Launch
October 18, 2007
Yesterday was the launch of Foresight‘s (Government Office for Science) Tackling Obesities report at the RSA , London. The report was the culmination of two years research and investigation into a future obesity epidemic.
Over the summer of 2006 I worked as an intern, alongside Jessica Charlesworth, to help Foresight vision the impact of the predicted obesity epidemic over the next 50 years. I am personally fascinated by the evolution of human physiology and behavior according to our desires, changing self-perceptions, scientific and technological developments – so it was great to have access to Foresights extensive research and insight into our obesity future. Some highlights of our work with foresight can be found on my website and at Jess’ blog.
The findings of the report are already hitting the press, with more attention to ‘passive obesity’ and the ecological perspective of influences fueling this epidemic. Here, an obesogenic environment includes our built environment, energy-density foods, grazing, lower levels of physical activity, stress, genetics, media and food advertising. What’s more we are biologically hard-wired to prepare for famine and store energy in the form of fat as an evolutionary survival mechanism.
Our work considered the evolution of the body in response to an overtly obesogenic environment and some proposals for tackling the problem. Our project aims to be a point of provocation informed by Foresight’s extensive consultation with leading world scientists, experts and other stakeholders in order to stimulate debate in Government as well as the general public.