Skip to main content

What is really to blame for the obesity epidemic?


Fresh from warnings that one-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025, a panel of academic experts will discuss what is at the root of the epidemic.

An international survey published in The Lancet medical journal this month stated that of around 5 billion adults alive in 2014, 641 million were classed as obese – and the number is set to rise to 1.1 billion within a decade.

Costing the UK economy billions of pounds every year, commentators have blamed everything from our genetics to the way food is marketed, and from chemicals in our environment to our levels of activity, in an effort to identify a solution to this growing problem.

On 27 April, a panel of academic experts will call on their knowledge and expertise to answer What is really to blame for the obesity epidemic? in the third of Brunel University London’s Big Question events to mark its 50th anniversary year.

An audience of staff, students and members of the community will be invited to ask their own questions on this critical topic.

Chaired by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Helen Briggs, panellists will include Gerard Hastings, the first UK Professor of Social Marketing and founder of the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling; Brunel’s Professor Juliette Legler, whose research includes early life stage exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and the development of obesity later in life; Professor Jonathan Seckl, A clinical endocrinologist and former Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellow; and Professor Sir Stephen Bloom FRS, Head of Division for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Imperial College London and Lead Clinician for Clinical Chemistry at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

To book tickets for the free event, please visit the Eventbrite page here.

The Big Question events form part of Brunel University London’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. To find out more about all the events the university has planned to celebrate its 50th, visit