CHEFS Online Research Talks

CHEFS is delighted to host a series of online research talks, covering the varied terrain of the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink. Thanks to Zoom, we are able to virtually bring in speakers from around the world to share their research. When possible, recordings will be available after the live event (on our Past Talks’ page). All welcome: local and global, students and staff, practitioners and public. Please feel free to share with your networks.

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Meeting ID: 971 0918 6251
Passcode: CHEFStalks
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Date: Tuesday 13 June 2023, 3-4:30pm on Zoom

SHARe-CHEFS PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Exploring Human Appetite and Eating Behaviour

Dietary strategies for improving healthy life expectancy – the role of appetite research
Presenter: Dr Miriam Clegg, University of Reading
Abstract: Increased feelings of hunger and lack of satiety is linked to reduced adherence to weight loss interventions and difficulties in weight loss maintenance. With 63.8% of the population overweight or obese in England, appetite research has been suggested as a useful tool to reduce calorie intake. On the opposite side of the appetite narrative, a large section of the population are at risk of malnutrition, with or without obesity. UK life expectancy has increased through the 20th and 21st Centuries, yet there is little evidence that these gains in life expectancy are always translated to increased years living in good health for older adults, when compared to previous generations. A nutritious diet is recognised as essential for healthy aging, well-being, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and the rate of functional decline, and changes to lifestyle (i.e. diet, nutrition and physical activity) can maintain or improve body composition, cognitive and mental health, immune function and vascular health in older adults. Research often cites that 1/10 adults aged 65+ is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition based on 2015 statistics, however recent research from Age UK highlights that this may be even higher since the pandemic (2). Contrary to common belief, nutritional needs only decrease marginally with age, and are sometimes higher than the needs of younger individuals. Protein is a good example. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the PROT-AGE Study Group have advised that a healthy older adult’s recommended daily protein intake should be increased to 1-1.2g/kg to maintain functionality, independence and fight infection. Protein is also known to be the most satiating macronutrient, and strategies to improve protein intake in older adults need to ascertain if increases in protein intake are like to impact overall food intake. Recent research from our group has used strategies to increase protein intake in older adults, focusing on foods that are liked and consumed by older adults (3). In the future, designing and producing a food environment that meets the diverse needs of older adults should work with them in the creation of bespoke, equitable interventions (4).
References: [1] Yakubu AH, Platts K, Sorsby A et al. (2023) J Funct Foods 102, 105471; [2] Age UK (2012) Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study; [3] Smith R., Clegg M & Methven L. (2022) Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr DOI:  ; [4] Clegg M, Methven L, Lanham-New S et al . (2023) Nutr Bull. 48, 124-133.

Modulating eating behaviour with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Presenter: Dr Jordan D Beaumont, Sheffield Hallam University
Abstract: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation involving the application of a constant and weak electrical current to the brain, is a popular technique for changing cortical activity and downstream behaviour (1). There has been particular interest in the use of this technique in weight management, with an emphasis on changing eating behaviour. However, despite promising early findings, studies have failed to identify a consistent effect of tDCS across eating-related measures (2, 3). Our research explores the application of tDCS, and through this work we have established stimulation parameters that appear to produce a consistent change in eating behaviour, and identified populations who may benefit from this technique (4, 5). This paired papers talk will overview our recent studies applying tDCS to change eating-related measures across different population, and will consider the therapeutic use of this technique in weight management.
References: [1] Filmer et al. (2014) Trends Neurosci; 37, 742-753, ; [2] Fregni et al. (2008) Appetite; 51 (1), 34-41, ; [3] Beaumont et al. (2021) Appetite; 157, 105004, ; [4] Beaumont et al. (2022) Obesity Reviews; 23 (2), e13364, ; [5] Beaumont et al. (2022) Psychosomatic Medicine; 84 (6), 646-657,

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Titles, presenters, abstracts and (where available) recordings are found on our Past Talks page.