'Fat Body Slim' comes to the capital

An interactive obesity research exhibition led by a team of academics headed to the central belt last week to take part in one of the largest science festivals in Europe.

Fat Body Slim BBCThe fun and informative exhibition, which investigates the science behind obesity, body shape and health, featured in the Edinburgh International Science Festival from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April.

'Fat Body Slim: Shape Matters!' was selected to feature as part of the BBC's 'Bang Goes the Theory' interactive area. Bang Goes the Theory is BBC1's flagship guide to popular science and the interactive area which appeared at the science festival is part of the programme's national roadshow which is touring the UK.

The exhibit has been designed by the University team to showcase its obesity research through a series of interactive displays. Quizzes, videos and hands-on activities help explore the link between obesity and chronic health problems like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The popular exhibit has been toured across the UK in recent months, most recently appearing at The Big Bang 2011 at the ICC London ExCeL in mid March and the Brighton Science Festival in February.

In addition to these events, the exhibit has been on tour throughout Scotland since August 2010 following a £25,000 grant from the Scottish Government Science Engagement Fund to deliver a series of workshops.

Visitors at the Edinburgh International Science Festival had the opportunity to learn how weight distribution impacts on their life, as well as the role individual lifestyles play in maintaining health and fitness. They also got to grips with staining fat cells to see what they look like under a microscope, and found out whether they can differentiate between the myths and the facts about obesity.

The exhibiting team of academics is led by Dr Giovanna Bermano, leader of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease research theme within the University's Institute for Health and Welfare Research, and Course Leader for the MSc in Obesity Science and Management. The team comprises fellow members of the Institute, the Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology (CORE) and the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Drs Marie Goua and Julie Young.

Last year, 'Fat Body Slim: Shape Matters!', was one of only 26 exhibitions from across the UK to be selected to appear in the 350th Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London's South Bank Centre.

Dr Bermano said: "Taking our exhibition to the science festival is a great opportunity to showcase our research, and to inform the public about the importance of knowing how body composition and fat distribution could affect the development of obesity associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

"As we have found at every stop of our tour so far, attendees have been really interested in finding out more about obesity-related issues and have hugely enjoyed the interactive nature of what we do."

To find out more about the Edinburgh International Science Festival visit:


Photo caption: The Fat Body Slim team meet with BBC Bang Goes the Theory presenter Dallas Campbell.                              

Notes to editor:

  • The Edinburgh International Science Festival takes place each April in Edinburgh, Scotland. The festival features over 200 talks, tours and exhibitions for children, families and adults in 30 locations around the city. The festival was first held in 1989, and its principal sponsors are the Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Executive. The Festival is one of the largest science festivals in Europe.  The 2011 Festival runs from 9-22 April.
  • BBC One's popular science magazine show Bang Goes the Theory returns to Edinburgh Science Festival for a third consecutive year with its popular live and fully interactive show. Inviting the audience to watch and take part in a series of show-stopping science demonstrations, with the programme presenters Jem Stansfield, Liz Bonnin, Dallas Campbell and Yan Wong test, stretch, explain and experiment with science - and will try to answer those big science questions as well as any smaller ones the audience has for them!

For all enquiries relating to the Fat Body Slim exhibition contact:

Sarah Grieve/Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer

Directorate of Marketing, Communications and Student Recruitment Robert Gordon University Schoolhill Aberdeen AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206/262389

For all enquiries relating to Edinburgh Science Festival contact:
PR Manager: Frances Sutton
Tel: 07841 579481