29 April 2016


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Ring doughnut29 Apr 2016

  • In 2014, Britain spent more than £47bn dealing with the healthcare and social costs of an increasingly overweight population1.
  • In 2015 The World Health Organisation and the UK Health Forum predicted that almost three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women in the UK would be overweight or obese by 20302.

On Thursday 21 June 2016 SCI’s Public Evening Lecture enters the highly topical discussion over processed foods and the Global Burden of Disease.  The lecture will be delivered by Prof Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London.  The lecture will look closely at the food industry, the impact of processed food in our diet and a strong call for us to action now!

Processed Food & Health
The term ‘processed’ food refers to any food that has been altered from its original state in any way – whether for convenience (e.g. ready meals, tinned fruit) or safety (e.g. milk)3.  The greatest profit to the food industry comes from very cheap, processed foods that are very high in salt, fat and sugar.  The Global Burden of Disease has demonstrated that these unhealthy foods are now a leading cause of death and disability both in the UK and worldwide4.

In this lecture Prof Graham MacGregor will outline how the time has come for consumers, governments and food companies to realise that the food industry is slowly poisoning large sections of the population.  He will look at how we need to control the industry so they make much more healthy foods and how this could be done by reformulating the sugar and fat content, as has occurred with reduction of salt in recent years.  This will be a timely lecture, where rapid and strong actions are being called for in order to tackle the ever growing physical and financial burdens of preventable disease.

About the Speaker
Graham MacGregor is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London and Honorary Consultant Physician at Barts and The London Hospital. He is a visiting Professor at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London. He trained as a nephrologist but became interested in blood pressure control mechanisms, particularly related to the renin-angiotensin system, the mechanisms whereby salt puts up blood pressure.

In 1996 he set up an action group on salt, Consensus Action on Salt and Health, to try and get the food industry to add less salt to the food and thereby get a reduction in salt intake. This was very successful and resulted in the Food Standards Agency taking on the task of salt reduction. The UK is now leading the world in salt reduction.

He later set up World Action on Salt and Health, Blood Pressure UK, and most recently, Action on Sugar, an action group which aims to reduce added sugar in foods and soft drinks in the same way as has been done with salt.

Date: Wednesday 30 March 2016
Venue: SCI HQ, 15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PS
Time: Reception opens at 18.00 and the lecture starts at 18.30. There will be an opportunity to meet the speaker after the lecture at a drinks and networking reception.
SCI Marketing, E: scimarketing@soci.org, T: +44 (0)207 598 1562

Related Links

1McKinsey Global Institute
2European Congress on Obesity, in Prague
3NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/what-are-processed-foods
4Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation:

Notes to editors:

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