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Is Obesity a Choice?

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It is clear that the cause of obesity is a result of eating more than you burn. It is physics. What is more complex to answer is why some people eat more than others? Differences in our genetic make-up mean some of us are slightly more hungry all the time and so eat more than others. In contrast to the prevailing view, obesity is not a choice. People who are obese are not bad or lazy; rather, they are fighting their biology. Dr Giles Yeo is a Principal Research Associate at the Metabolic Research Labs and Director of Genomics/Transcriptomics at the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, University of Cambridge. He is also President of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology. In addition to scientific research, Dr Yeo is very active in media and communication. He presents science documentaries for the BBC , including ‘Horizon’ and ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’. His first book ‘Gene Eating: The Science of Obesity & the Truth About Diets’ was published in December 2018. In recognition of his ability to communicate topical subjects in genetics research to the public, the Genetics Society, in its centenary year, has awarded Giles the 2019 JBS Haldane Lecture.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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