Obesity Specialist Group - Study Day - Does sustainability matter if you live with food insecurity? The link between obesity, food insecurity and sustainability.

Hosted by Obesity Specialist Group

The study day will look at the link between obesity, food insecurity and sustainability, the study day will now be held virtually. View the programme

The day aims to

  1. Explore the link between food insecurity and obesity 
  2. Address ways in which staff can support patients living with obesity and food insecurity 
  3. Consider if there are practical ways to support patients and communities to have a more sustainable diet, while living with food insecurity and obesity 

Speakers include Jenny Pitts from National Development Team For Inclusion, Shona Goudie from Food Foundation, Charlotte Hardman, Hannah Style and Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford more details below.


  • Obesity Specialist Group Member FREE
  • BDA Member £10
  • Non Member £20
  • Obesity Student Member Free


Understanding the association between food insecurity and obesity with Professor Charlotte Hardman, Professor of Psychology of Eating Behaviour, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool

Food insecurity (the lack of secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development) has risen sharply in many worldwide countries since the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK has further exacerbated this issue, with 24% of households with children reporting food insecurity in January 2023. Food prices have risen consistently, driven by supply chain issues and climate shocks, with healthier foods generally more expensive than less healthy foods. Many households also struggle to access affordable healthier food items in their local neighbourhoods. Food insecurity is known to be associated with higher levels of obesity in developed countries due to a complex array of physiological, psychological, social and environmental factors. However we need better understanding of this relationship in order to inform public health policies and interventions that are tailored to the needs of individuals experiencing dietary inequalities and obesity. This talk will provide an overview of current evidence on the association between food insecurity and obesity and the implications of these findings for policy and clinical practice.

About Charlotte - She leads a programme of research on the psychological determinants of appetite and obesity, with a particular focus on healthy and sustainable food choices. Her recent research grants are focused on tackling dietary inequalities and promoting equitable access to healthy, sustainable foods in the UKRI-funded FIO-FOOD and BeanMeals projects, and the BBSRC-funded Rurban Revolution project which focused on the transformative potential of growing food in towns and cities for health, sustainability and food-system resilience. She has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals. She is a founding member of the Liverpool Food Growers Network, a trustee of Feeding Liverpool, and sits on the Food Standards Agency’s Advisory Committee for Social Science. She has a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Leeds, a PhD from Bangor University, and has held post-doctoral research positions at Bangor University and the University of Bristol. She joined the University of Liverpool as a Lecturer in Psychology in 2013, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018, and to Personal Chair in 2023.

What does it mean to support patients who are experiencing food insecurity? Reflections from research with Dr Hannah Lambie, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield

This talk will look at what food insecurity is, some of the key challenges people experiencing food insecurity face, and how people can be supported in the context of the cost-of-living and climate crises. 

About Hannah L - She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Social Sciences.  Hannah’s research focuses on food insecurity, food support systems and the role of public policy in promoting better access to food.

Charity Sector Responses to Food Insecurity with Hannah Style, Founder and Research Dietitian, FEAST With Us (FEAST)

Hannah will explain FEAST's charitable work, the research she is conducting, exploring the nutrition status of homeless people, and the practical use of the USDA Food Insecurity Score and its application to service users with obesity.

About Hannah S - Since her career started in 2014, Hannah has based her dietetic career on working with vulnerable groups, and her clinical specialist area is Learning Disabilities. She enjoys cycling to work and advocating for the nutrition of hard-to-reach groups in a variety of settings. In 2015 she founded FEAST With Us (FEAST) as a grassroots initiative with the view to bringing nutrition to helm of the food poverty sector. FEAST works closely with inclusion health and public health teams across North London boroughs, and is expanding to serve more vulnerable groups. Her full time role is the Professional Development Lead Dietitian for East London NHS Foundation Trust, a large mental health trust serving people with learning disabilities and severe mental illness. 

Shona Goudie, Policy and Advocacy Manager, The Food Foundation 

Shona will present the influence of food environments on dietary health. Our food environments are not designed to help anyone eat well, but they make eating healthily and sustainably even harder for people on low incomes. In this talk, we will discuss how factors outside of individuals’ control such as the affordability, availability and advertising of unhealthy foods can drive dietary health inequalities and make it harder for people at risk of food insecurity to secure a good diet.

About Shona - She is a Registered Associate Nutritionist working as the Policy and Advocacy Manager at the Food Foundation. She joined The Food Foundation in 2019 and has worked on research, policy and advocacy across a range of projects including leading on the organisation’s food insecurity surveys and flagship annual Broken Plate reports. She now works across The Food Foundation's policy portfolio including the children's food campaigns and work on food insecurity and food environments.

Jenny Pitts, Programme Lead for Community Led Support, National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi)

Jenny will present Shaping Change through Connection and Collaboration

Working preventatively and in a joined-up way is an essential part of providing the best care and support to people. This workshop will explore how change can be initiated at an individual and community level to achieve lasting benefits. It will explore the core principles of Community Led Support and share some examples of where this is happening, the critical success factors and how innovative models can be sustained.

About Jenny - She has a background of working in adult social care, leading integrated services in local government and supporting the journey of ‘transformation’ and person centred, strengths based cultures. For the last 9 years, Jenny has lead a change programme (Community Led Support) at NDTi and also supports NDTi’s Leadership work. Jenny lives in Ludlow and works nationally.

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