Hot Topic workshop report: Reshaping the food environment – Applying interdisciplinary perspectives in appetite research

Alexandra Johnstone* (Corresponding Author), Adrian Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

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The prevalence of obesity, both worldwide and in the UK, continues to rise and has been classified by the NHS as a major public health issue with current public health survey data indicating that nearly two thirds of adults are living with overweight and obesity. We know from existing appetite research that it is easy to overconsume calories, but difficult to reduce calorie intake below requirements and we seek to expand this evidence base to seek future research themes to provide the evidence on how to manage obesity. This MRC-funded hottopic workshop explored issues that are evolving from current literature to create discussion about potential future collaborative future research around 4 themes, (i) Food
reformulation/innovation – how appetite research can influence sustainable and healthy diets, (ii) One diet does not fit all – how should we conduct appetite research to embrace inter-individual differences (e.g. responder/non-responders), (iii) Environmental drivers of obesity/food choices – bridging the gap between appetite research and obesity services – future research themes, (iv) Big data approaches to develop understanding of drivers of appetite and food choice. Appetite forms a bridge to understanding the interaction between the internal and external environments and therefore has both biological and behavioural relevance for behaviour change associated with eating. This report summarises how our plansfuture research can embrace this multi-disciplinary challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-227
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Issue number2
Early online date3 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Both AJ and AB and contributed equally to the writing of this article and gratefully acknowledge financial support from the UKRI Medical Research Council (Award MC_PC_19018, £9975) for supporting this workshop. Alex Johnstone gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Scottish Government as part of the Strategic Research Programme at The Rowett Institute (April 2016–March 2022). Adrian Brown gratefully acknowledges funding though the University College London and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research funding.


  • Appetite
  • Big Data
  • Obesity Research
  • Food insecurity
  • Behaviour change
  • food reformulation


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