NHMRC’s CEO, Professor Warwick Anderson, hosted an all day roundtable at the NHMRC Canberra Offices titled New Insights into the biology of obesity on 1 April 2014. Topics included genetics (including epigenetics), neurobiology and the microbiome.
The causes, prevention and management of obesity are complex. They include social and cultural issues, the local environment, food industry practices and public policies, personal attitudes and behaviours, and human biology. All these are interconnected and no country has yet managed a successful, sustained reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity, despite health and medical research. The Roundtable focussed on new information on human biology, with a view to eventual integration into evidence-based population advice. NHMRC has obesity as one of its ‘Major Health Issues’ for this triennium.