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Hot Topics Workshop

Physical activity, Transitions, nutrition and appetitE regulation (PLATE): An interdisciplinary perspective

Date: Monday 23rd November

Venue: Online (Microsoft Teams)

Funder info: UK Nutrition Research Partnership (Medical Research Council)

Workshop details
It has been well established that physical activity is crucial for optimal appetite regulation. Overeating and weight gain are more likely to occur when physical activity levels are low because of impaired appetite sensitivity to energy needs. The impact of changes, and specifically, reductions in physical activity (e.g., due to illness, injury, ageing or change in circumstances) on appetite regulation and nutrition is poorly understood. This workshop aims to bring together experts from different disciplines to identify and discuss the challenges to optimal nutrition and appetite regulation during periods of physical activity transition.

Workshop aims

  • To adopt an interdisciplinary approach to understanding nutrition and appetite regulation during periods of physical activity transition across the lifespan and to explore opportunities for future collaborative research.
  • To explore challenges to researching nutrition and appetite regulation across different types of physical activity transitions (e.g., patients, athletes, adolescents, new parents, recent retirees, COVID-19) and to generate novel and timely research questions to be addressed.
  • To stimulate UK research activity in evaluating the impact of physical activity transition periods on nutrition and appetite regulation with a view to supporting the prevention of unhealthy weight gain in the population.


Morning session

9:00-9:30am Log in, check your access, get settled in.
9:30-9:45am Housekeeping
Welcome and introductions
9.45-10.15am Keynote Talk: Prof Rachel Batterham
“Changing the obesity narrative”
10:15-10:35am Keynote Q&A
10:35-11:05am Coffee break and networking
Arrange a call to connect with someone else during the coffee break
11:05-12:00pm Panel discussion: Perspectives from the experts
11:05am Prof John Blundell: “Interactions among physical activity, body composition and components of appetite control”
11:15am Prof Rachel Batterham: “The role of physical activity before and after Bariatric surgery”
11:25am Prof Vicky Tolfrey: “Physical activity considerations for people with a spinal cord injury”
11:35am Prof Jeff Brunstrom: “Food selection, expected satiety and links with weight management”
11:45am Prof Greg Atkinson: “Interindividual responses to interventions: Implications for appetite and physical activity research”
12:00-12:20pm Q&As for the panel
12:20-1:00pm Lunch break
Arrange a call to connect with someone else during the lunch break. Be ready to re-join this call at 1pm.

Afternoon session

1:00-1:45pm Current Research Showcase (5min talks)
1:05pm Eleni Spyreli “Exploring parental attitudes and practices during complementary feeding”.
1:10pm Chris McLeod “Evidence for the influence of pre-meal and pre-exercise cognitions on portion selection and energy intake”.
1:15pm Pauline Oustric “Changes in food reward and appetite control during diet induced weight loss and follow-up”.
1:20pm Ella Smith “A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing heterogeneity in body mass responses between low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets.”
1:25pm Madhronica Sardjoe “The effects of high intensity interval exercise on cognitive functioning, metabolic processes, and the transfer effects to eating behaviour”.
1:30pm Asya Barutcu “Exercise perceived as ‘license to eat’: Implications for public health”.
1:35pm Kristine Beaulieu “Physical activity, energy balance and appetite control: Time of day consideration”.
1:45-2:05pm Short coffee/comfort break
2:05-2.15pm Introduction to breakout group discussions (part 1)
2.15-2.55pm Working group discussion task (part 1): “Blue Sky Thinking”
2.55-3.05pm Short comfort break
3:05-3:15pm Introduction to breakout group discussions (part 2)
3.15-3.45pm Working group discussion task (part 2): “What’s stopping us? What’s the next logical step?”
3.45-4.45pm Whole group feedback and discussion
4.45-5pm Summary and next steps

Rachel Batterham is Professor of Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology at University College London. She is a NIHR Research Professor, Director of the UCLH/UCL NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Obesity Theme, Head of the UCLH Obesity Services and the Royal College of Physicians’ Special Obesity Advisor. She is internationally renowned for her expertise in the clinical management of people with obesity and obesity-related diseases and for her obesity research. She is passionate about reducing the stigma that people with obesity experience and ensuring that the patient voice is heard and has established a charity for people affected by obesity, Obesity Empowerment Network UK.

Panel members

Professor John Blundell holds the Research Chair of PsychoBiology at the University of Leeds and was the founding Director of the Institute of Psychological Sciences. John served on the UK government DoH committee on Social Marketing to prevent childhood obesity, and was a member of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) Foresight Team on Tackling Obesities that produced the Obesities Systems Map (2008). He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from UK ASO (2019). For over 25 years John has adopted a systems approach to human functioning which integrates biology, behaviour and the environment; this has been applied to the inter-relationships among body composition, energy metabolism, physical activity, and energy intake (appetite control).

Professor Greg Atkinson is a Professor of Health Sciences and Biostatistics Research at Teesside University. Greg has over 280 peer-reviewed publications, predominantly on human circadian rhythms and their disturbance, as well as on research methods and statistics. In 2010, he received a Bupa Foundation Prize for his MRC-NPRI project on shift-work and health. Greg is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and has a current interest in treatment/intervention response heterogeneity.

Jeff Brunstrom is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, where he co-leads the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit. In 2011 he received the Alan Epstein award for advancing our understanding of ingestive behaviour and is an academic member of the Food Sector Steering Committee of the UK Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network. His research interests are in behavioural nutrition, focusing on decisions and behaviours around food choice, portion size and energy intake.

Professor Vicky Tolfrey is a Professor of Applied Disability Sport at Loughborough University. She is also the Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, based at Loughborough. Vicky has provided applied sport science support to Paralympic athletes since 2004 and was awarded a BASES Fellowship for her work in disability sport in 2011. In 2017, Vicky received the prestigious IPC Paralympic Science Award.

Who should attend this workshop?
This event will be relevant to researchers with interests in physical activity, nutrition and/or appetite regulation, of all career stages and from a wide range of disciplines (for example, but not limited to, biochemistry, molecular biology, nutrition, psychology, exercise physiology, epidemiology) as well as industry partners, healthcare professionals, local and national policy developers, public health experts and individuals with lived experiences.

How can I attend?
We are currently welcoming registrations to attend the workshop. Interested participants are asked to fill in a brief registration form and return it to Alison Stanley by 13th November 2020 ( We are committed to including participants from across different career stages and institutions and particularly welcome applications from early career researchers.

How much does it cost?
The event has been funded by the United Kingdom Nutrition Research Partnership (UKNRP), thus will be free to attend. The event will be delivered online via MS Teams. More details about how to access the workshop will be provided following registration.

Further questions?
If you have further questions about the workshop, please contact Alison Stanley ( or the organising team (David Stensel Carolyn Plateau

This event is being held in partnership with the NIHR Diet and Activity Research Translation (DART) collaboration and the Leicester BRC. For more information please see:

Delegates may also be interested in attending a related workshop hosted by colleagues at the University of Birmingham: “Improving our understanding of the metabolic Interplay between Nutrition and Physical ACTivity (IN-PACT)”. Please contact Dr Gareth Wallis for further information (