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Childhood Obesity: an interdisciplinary approach to prevention and treatment

6th September 2021 - 7th September 2021

Logos for the Danish Diabetes Academy, Cambridge Metabolic Network and Cambridge University

Childhood Obesity: An inter-disciplinary approach to prevention and treatment

Date: 6-7 September 2021

This event was jointly developed through our on-going collaboration with the Danish Diabetes Academy and offered an opportunity to learn from and discuss with researchers based in Danish and Cambridge institutions.

The two-day course aimed to expand participants’ knowledge on obesity research including physiology, epidemiology and social sciences as well as promote collaboration between experienced and early-stage researchers from Denmark and Cambridge.

Our speakers covered a range of topics including:

  • Eating behaviour – the neurobiology of eating behaviour; interactions between the  environment and biology; policies and treatments aimed at changing eating patterns.
  • Energy expenditure – the regulation of energy expenditure; policies and interventions aimed at increasing physical activity levels.

The course also involved a debate on “Food Addiction: Biology vs. Behaviour?”, a session exploring how science can inform policy and influence change, and a series of flash talks selected from submitted abstracts by early career researchers.

There was also plenty of time for discussion in order to maximise the likelihood of developing useful collaborations between researchers in the two countries.

With the ongoing uncertainty with the COVID-19 situation and travel between Denmark and the UK, this event was held online via Zoom. 


Delegate Pack

Meeting Report

56 people took part (including speakers) and we were treated to a range of excellent talks – some pre-recorded and others delivered live, with speakers from both Cambridge and Demark. In addition, we were delighted with the abstracts submitted which were all delivered as short flash talks. It was an excellent opportunity to network with researchers from Denmark and there was good discussion about future developments and events for next year. Huge thanks to all the speakers and participants and also the programme committee (below).

Some feedback:

I thoroughly enjoyed the session so I’m really pleased I joined. I hope it was helpful and sparked some policy interest among attendees



It was hugely enjoyable and it worked well to include topics from biology to policy on childhood obesity



Very enriching in content, and diverse aspects of childhood obesity



All the people presenting were describing their topic in a very impressive way



I liked the idea of watching the pre-course material online. It then gave more time for interactive question and answer sessions



It was fantastic


Organisers and programme committee

Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge (UK): Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Wellcome Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Metabolism and Medicine, and Dr Agatha Van der Klaauw, NIHR Clinical Lecturer.

MRC-Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge (UK): Professor Ken Ong, Programme Leader, Early Life Aetiology and Mechanisms of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders; Dr Rajalakshmi Lakshman, Clinical Senior Research Scientist; Dr Erika Ikeda, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People.

Professor Niels Jessen, Head of Research, Department of Clinical Medicine and Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
Professor Jens Meldgaard Bruun, Department of Clinical Medicine, Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Denmark

Cambridge Metabolic Network: Network Coordinator, Angela

Danish Diabetes Academy: Education Manager, Jette



Via Zoom


Cambridge Metabolic Network
Danish Diabetes Academy