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The University of Southampton

Southampton conference examines link between body composition and health

Published: 2 September 2005

Does being fat and fit confer greater benefits to health than being thin and unfit? Does the amount or distribution of fat have a greater influence on risk of cardiovascular diseases? Do fetal and childhood growth determine the body composition of adults and their risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes?

These are some of the important questions which will be addressed at an international symposium hosted by the University of Southampton on 7 - 9 September 2005.

In Vivo Body Composition Studies (BC2005) 'Linking Structure and Function' will show how recent technological advances in body composition techniques are being used to understand and help solve some of the major public health and clinical problems facing society today. It will also look at the adverse effects of body composition in relation to the obesity epidemic, and in relation to undernutrition, which affects many older people, especially those with disease.

Professor Marinos Elia, of the University of Southampton's Institute of Human Nutrition and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Division of the School of Medicine, comments: "We are honoured to host this meeting at the University, where experts from many parts of the world will meet to discuss which interventions can alter body composition in the most favourable way, to combat the stresses of modern life, to reduce risk of developing disease in later life, and to promote optimal well being and health."

BC2005 is organised by the In Vivo Body Composition Group, which comprises a range of experts including biomedical scientists, clinicians and public health specialists.

Over 150 delegates from 20 countries are due to attend BC2005 at the University of Southampton's conference facilities at Boldrewood campus. BC2005 will be formally opened on 7 September by the Mayor of Southampton Councillor Edwina Cooke.

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Notes for editors

  1. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution, with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is about £270 million.
  2. The Institute of Human Nutrition is an international centre of excellence in all aspects of nutrition, co-ordinating a programme of research, education and training. Based in the School of Medicine, it serves as a focus for professionals in a wide range of academic, clinical and community roles.
  3. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Division (DOHaD) within the School of Medicine has an outstanding international reputation. Research is directed at discovering how interactions between the genome and the environment, in utero and during infancy, influence susceptibility to common diseases in adult life.
  4. The Institute of Human Nutrition and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Division of the Medical School have close collaborative links with the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre at Southampton.
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