While the goal of en enlightened society has always been food so plentiful and cheap that even poor people could afford to be fat, it hasn't been without pitfalls in the form of a looming crisis for society, caused by millions of people who are seriously overweight - that will be the topic of a University of Greenwich public lecture on November 28th.

Dr. Lucie Pollard, a nutrition expert at the school, will be discussing what motivates people to eat, what influences their eating choices and how the nation can tackle obesity.
A principal lecturer at the university, Pollard specializes in the role of nutrition in the prevention of disease, including cancer and coronary heart disease. Her teaching covers areas of health promotion and public health nutrition. The lecture, "Why we eat what we eat: How to lose five billion calories", will examine how eating habits are influenced by physiology, such as hunger and satiety ‘signalling’, and psychology, including the widespread preference for three meals a day.

Pollard says: “There are over 15 million people who are obese in the UK. This is likely to lead to almost half a million more cases of heart disease, and around 700,000 extra cases of diabetes. In addition, thousands of people are also developing cancer as a consequence of their weight.
Research suggests that we must cut five billion calories a day to tackle this crisis. My talk highlights the individual influences on appetite and proposes strategies for cutting down our intake.”

“We know that food preferences begin very early, even before we are born, and that many emotional and cultural factors are at play,”Pollard adds. “Eating is the most fundamental of all human behaviours, and yet it has one of our most complex behaviour patterns.”