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Podcast: Obesity: the gene-environment debate

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What role do our genes play in influencing our body weight and what we like to eat? Why do some people gain weight more easily than others, and is it all down to genes or are there other factors at play? In this episode, we talked with a clinician and scientist Sadaf Farooqi, health psychologist Theresa Marteau, and geographer Thomas Burgoine about the multitude of factors that go into influencing our eating behaviours. Along the way, we hear about the crucial importance of the environment in influencing our eating behaviour, including “zoning” - the effort to keep fast food outlets no more than 400 yards from schools, and learn how our food has become more calorific over the past 20 to 30 years. Our guests discuss how ultimately, communicating information about obesity doesn’t necessarily change our behaviour towards food, as we are much more influenced by our genes and environment than what's inside our heads.

This episode was produced by Nick Saffell, James Dolan, Naomi Clements-Brod and Annie Thwaite.

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