Obesity on the move: University team tours research across the north of Scotland

Fat Body SlimA cutting-edge obesity research exhibition, led by a team of academics from Robert Gordon University, has begun a six-month tour of northern Scotland this week.

The fun and interactive exhibition, which began its tour at Satrosphere Science Centre, Aberdeen, on Sunday 10 (running through to Wednesday 13 October), investigates the science behind obesity, body shape and health.

Entitled ‘Fat Body Slim: Shape Matters!' the exhibit has been designed to showcase the University's obesity research through a series of accessible and interactive displays.

The exhibit is being toured until March 2011 as a result of a £25,000 grant from the Scottish Government Science Engagement Fund to deliver a series of workshops to more than 10,000 teenagers in the north and north-east of Scotland. Once this week is over, the team will continue its tour in community centres and schools over the next five months.

As will be the case throughout the tour, members of the public attending the exhibition at Satrosphere this week have 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. Attendees have been able to get to grips with staining fat cells to see what they look like under a microscope, and have 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 and the Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology (CORE).

Early this summer, ‘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: "This tour is a great opportunity to showcase our research, and to inform the North-east public of 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 found in London earlier this year, attendees have been really interested in finding out more about obesity-related issues and have hugely enjoyed the interactive nature of what we do."

Dr Gemma Catton, Education Manager at Satrosphere said, "The Fat Body Slim exhibition is wonderful and our visitors are learning a lot from talking to the presenters. We are very proud to be the first stop on what is sure to be a very successful tour."

‘Fat Body Slim: Shape Matters!' will next be exhibited at Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 October. In November the team will visit Inverness, followed by Fraserburgh in December. Further venues hosting the exhibition through to March 2011 will be announced soon. For further information on the tour and team's research visit the team's microsite on