The 16th Plymouth Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome will take place on Thursday 7 July at the Postgraduate Medical Centre, Derriford Hospital.

With a line-up of nationally and internationally-respected presenters, the programme addresses child health, new methods using robots and cutting edge research on the origins of obesity and diabetes in children The symposium will conclude by focusing on recent medical advances in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

Professor Adrian Taylor from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry will present on behavioural change strategies and how they can prevent and manage obesity throughout a lifetime.

Professor Russ Jago from the University of Bristol will speak about ways to increase children’s activity at the end of the school day, and Dr Brad Metcalf from the University of Exeter will present on physical activity and sport and obesity. Professor Jackie Andrade from Plymouth University will explore how robots and psychology might solve the problem of weight management.

Dr Joanne Hosking from Plymouth University will describe her latest work with the Earlybird project investigating the molecular origins of weight gain and obesity in children, and early disease markers that may predict future health.

Professor Karen Lillycrop, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, will present her research on epigenetic mechanisms in early life that give rise to metabolic diseases in later life.

The symposium will conclude by turning to clinical considerations in the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Professor Glenn Matfin, Consultant Endocrinologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, will review some of the many recent exciting advances in the treatment of diabetes. Finally, Professor Jonathan Pinkney from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry will discuss the current reawakening of interest in new advances in the drug therapy of obesity.

The symposium is organised by Professor Jonathan Pinkney. He said: “The past year has seen an immense amount of debate, discussion and media coverage around obesity. From sugar taxes to the relative merits of different fats in our diets, children’s exercise and new links between obesity and other diseases, as a topic obesity never loses interest and remains an issue for health care systems around the world. Our symposium goes some way to bringing great minds and discussion together to explore any number of ways to deal with the problem.”