Why diets fail - University of Sydney medicine lecture series to kick off tomorrow

25 September 2013

The reasons behind why diets usually fail will be shared in the first of a series of medicine lectures being hosted by the University of Sydney each Wednesday from tomorrow to 27 November. The talks are free and open to the public.

The 21st Century Medicine Lecture Series, which showcases the work of leading researchers at the University's Sydney Medical School, will be kicked off by Associate Professor Amanda Salis who will present: 'Why Diets (usually) fail'.

A major reason why diets fail is that the body responds to energy restriction with a 'famine reaction' that increases appetite, reduces metabolic rate and alters circulating concentrations of hormones in a way that stimulates fat accumulation.

Drawing on insights from her work leading a research team at the University's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Associate Professor Salis will discuss three scientifically based strategies that may reduce the intensity of the famine reaction, thereby increasing the efficiency of weight loss.

The new research project her team is beginning next month will investigate these three strategies in a head to head trial. Having personally struggled with binge eating and excess weight (and having now lost 28 kilos and kept it off for over 15 years), she is passionate about her team's research, which aims to help more people to lose excess weight and keep it off for life.

"Launched last year, this flagship series of lectures is a chance for the public to learn about the latest developments across the range of medical research," Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of the Sydney Medical School said.

"Our researchers are doing extraordinary work and many are at the top of their field internationally. The beauty of these talks is that they are targeted for an interested audience without specialised medical knowledge. Here is an opportunity for everyone to get up-to-speed on some of the most exciting things happening in health.

"The inaugural 21st Century Medicine series was so popular that, instead of holding all the talks on campus, this year we've decided to take some of them into the CBD making them more accessible. We're hoping that, at the end of the work day, people might like to be inspired by some of our most engaging minds," Professor Robinson said.

Event details

What: Why diets (usually) fail
When: Wednesday, 25 September, 6pm-7.30pm
Where: New Law School Foyer, University of Sydney
Speaker: Associate Professor Amanda Salis, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, the University of Sydney's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders.

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Media contact: Rachel Gleeson 02 9351 4630, 0481 004 782,