Over 200 of the UK’s leading obesity researchers, clinicians, health care professionals and academics from around the country travelled to NewcastleGateshead to attend the Association for the Study of Obesity’s 5th UK Congress on Obesity (UKCO).
As well a line-up of renowned national and international speakers, the conference was also a platform for local expert speakers from Newcastle University. Key note speakers – including Newcastle University’s Professors John Mathers and Roy Taylor, Mr Jo Jewell of the World Health Organisation (Europe) and Dr Alison Tedstone of Public Health England amongst others – addressed the issues of obesity and cancer, periconception nutrition, public health and national and European perspectives on obesity throughout the life course.
Conference symposiums also covered the topics of reproduction and intergeneration, obesity and age-related disease, molecular aspects of obesity, bariatric surgery and food insecurity and obesity.
The conference also left a lasting legacy in NewcastleGateshead by hosting a public engagement event in partnership with Café Culture North East on the subject of cancer and obesity as part of its wider programme during the conference. Professor Annie Anderson spoke at this event and the podcast from it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXfaE3IZlqg
Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “As a city with a proud history in medical sciences and a top medical school at Newcastle University which leads in many areas of medical research, Newcastle was the perfect setting for the 5th UK Congress on Obesity. We were delighted to welcome the exciting line up of speakers and delegates who came here to discuss this important subject, as well as showing them some of the life-changing work that’s happening here in our city.”
Newcastle University is home to numerous researchers whose work is dedicated to understanding obesity and preventing and tackling this important health issue, several of whom were speakers at the conference. Professor Ashley Adamson leads research on understanding the development of childhood obesity and identifying strategies for its prevention, Professor Roy Taylor has expertise in clinical diabetes and metabolism and Professor John Mathers leads on work on nutrition and ageing and exploring adult obesity.
Questions answered by: Dr Nicola Heslehurst, Lecturer in Public Health at Newcastle University and lead of the UKCO Local Organising Committee
Why did you choose to bring your conference to NewcastleGateshead?
NewcastleGateshead is an impressive city with fantastic facilities renowned for its warm welcome. It is a compact and commutable city with great transport links for those wishing to travel to the area from across the UK and abroad.
What do you feel you (the organiser) benefited from bringing the event to NewcastleGateshead?
By bringing this conference to NewcastleGateshead we were able to offer delegates a fantastic and hospitable venue with a strong background in obesity related research. Hosting the UKCO conference in this vibrant and easily accessible city resulted in us welcoming our greatest number of delegates and abstract submissions to date.
How do you feel your delegates benefited from the event being hosted in NewcastleGateshead?
NewcastleGateshead has a strong cohort of researchers and public health teams working in the obesity field who supported this conference and showcased their work as part of the varied and multi-disciplinary programme. Delegates were also able to spend time in a city known for its hospitality, with a great range of accommodation, facilities and activities. This conference coincided with the Great Exhibition of the North and the Great North Run (five North East runners participated in the Great North Run on behalf of the ASO) and so delegates were also able to experience our cultural facilities and passion for sport.
How did NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau support in the organisation of your event?
The NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau were most helpful – they know all there is to know about the city! They were able to offer help and information on a range of issues such as advertising the conference, accommodation for delegates, transport to and within the city and activities that delegates could get involved in. They also had a ‘meet and greet’ stand in Central Station to welcome the delegates when they arrived.