Prevention of Childhood Obesity Conference, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Denmark

Louise Baur, Jane Martin, and Rachael Taylor were lucky enough to spend a fabulous week in Copenhagen at the end of October as part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Prevention of Childhood Obesity conference. The conference was more of a ‘think tank’ style with 20 international experts talking about a wide range of different aspects of prevention, with another 120 or so attendees, most of whom were young researchers from Scandinavia and further afield.

Invited speakers included people such as David Ludwig (talking about the carbohydrate-insulin model), David Allison (outlining the importance of appropriate study design and statistics), Carolyn Summerbell (highlighting her work in systematic reviews), Tim Lobstein (highlighting the global challenges), Ken Ong, Janine Felix and Ruth Loos (talking about the role of genetics and interface with the environment), Steven Gortmaker (promoting the importance of economic evaluations), and of course, three fabulous talks from us as the Australian and NZ contingent (including Steve Simpson). Rachael Taylor emphasised the importance of considering sleep as another part of the obesity prevention puzzle, Jane Martin on the importance of various actor groups in advocacy and policy development, and Louise Baur had the unenviable task of summing up the whole week.  More on the conference program here.

While the amount of original research was relatively low with so many ‘keynote’ talks, the discussions and networking opportunities were phenomenal. We were also based at Favrholm, a beautiful purpose-built facility about 50km from Copenhagen. This relative isolation meant that networking (not shopping) was the prime activity. However, we were taken to the Copenhagen Opera House – a truly beautiful building and Jane and Rach made sure they got a little bit of shopping and culture in after the conference, while Louise flew home to work! The photo is of us at Fredericksborg Castle – a fascinating experience of a castle where construction started in the 1500s. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and as usual, showcased the marvellous work undertaken down here at the bottom of the world – go Australasia.


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