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The UK’s leading scientific meeting about obesity comes to NewcastleGateshead for 2018 event

The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) has confirmed that NewcastleGateshead will be the host destination for its 5th UK Congress on Obesity (UKCO), adding to the destination’s stellar reputation for hosting high-profile medical conferences.

Over 200 of the UK’s leading obesity researchers, clinicians, health care professionals and academics from around the country will travel to the event, which will take place at Newcastle University’s Armstrong Building on 6 – 7 September, to hear the latest research on the prevention and treatment of obesity through the life course, from preconception to pension.

As well a line-up of renowned national and international speakers, the conference will be a platform for local expert speakers from Newcastle University. Key note speakers – including Newcastle University’s Professor Ashley Adamson, Director of the government-funded National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research, Dr Joao Breda of the World Health Organisation and Dr Alison Tedstone of Public Health England amongst others – will address the issues of obesity and cancer, periconception nutrition, public health and national and European perspectives on obesity throughout the life course.

Conference symposiums will also cover the topics of reproduction and intergeneration, obesity and age-related disease, molecular aspects of obesity, bariatric surgery and food insecurity and obesity.

Paul Szomoru, Head 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 makes a perfect setting for the 5th UK Congress on Obesity later this year. We’re delighted to welcome the exciting line up of speakers and delegates who are coming here to discuss this important subject, which presents such a big challenge for us in the western world, and we look forward to showing them some of the life-changing work that’s happening here in our city.

“The local organising committee is determined to maximise the impact of this event and the legacy opportunities, so we are very pleased that they’ll be engaging with the local population with a free public event to discuss obesity pre-conference.

“What’s more, the conference couldn’t be happening at a more exciting time as it will take place during the Great Exhibition of the North, England’s biggest event for 2018, so attending delegates are sure to enjoy a fantastic experience when here.”

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 are speakers at the conference. These include Professor Ashley Adamson who leads research on understanding the development of childhood obesity and identifying strategies for its prevention, Professor Roy Taylor who has expertise in clinical diabetes and metabolism and Professor John Mathers who leads on work on nutrition and ageing and exploring adult obesity.

Dr Nicola Heslehurst, Chair of the UKCO Local Organising Committee and ASO Trustee said: “Newcastle University is a world-class civic university and our research addresses the most pressing issues in society. Globally and locally, obesity is one of the greatest health challenges we face. Hosting UKCO is an opportunity to bring together local, UK and international experts to share important research, in a city renowned for its hospitality.”

Dr Simon Williams, UK ASO Chair, said “This will be the 5th annual UK Congress on Obesity and we are delighted that Newcastle will be playing host to this very important meeting. I am certain that delegates will enjoy the Congress and the experience of visiting such a great city.”

A welcome drinks reception at the recently-renovated Boiler House on the university campus will be hosted by Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President of Newcastle University. Winners of the obesity Best Practice Award, New to Research Best Abstract Award, Best Poster Award and Fuse Best Abstract in Public Health Award will also be announced during the conference.

In addition to the main conference programme, delegates will be invited to attend a free pre-conference symposium on 5 September delivered by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health on the topic of ‘translation of obesity research into practice’. There will also be a free workshop for early career researchers to develop their career in obesity. Furthermore, an event on 4 September will provide an opportunity for members of the public to listen to experts, ask questions and discuss the topic of obesity.

Five delegates of the conference will also gain the opportunity to participate in the North East’s iconic half-marathon, Great North Run, on behalf of the ASO.

Founded in 1967, the ASO has become the UK’s foremost charitable organisation dedicated to the understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity. The UK ASO aims to develop an understanding of obesity through the pursuit of excellence in research and education, the facilitation of contact between individuals and organisations and the promotion of action to prevent and treat obesity. The UK ASO is the UK affiliate of the European ASO and World Obesity Federation.

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