Monday, September 1, 2008

EMGO seminar: visiting professor David Crawford

On September 1, professor David Crawford from the Center of Physical Activity and Nutrition Research ( gave a research seminar on environmental drivers of the obesity epidemic. His excellent presentation covered the obesity and overweight prevalence down under among children, adolescents and adults, and the potential physical and social environmental determinants of obesogenic behaviors and unnecessary weight gain. His presentation made clear that the available evidence for environmental drivers of obesogenic behaviors is not that strong. His presentation ended with 4 categories of clear recommendations to bring this research field further. One of his issues was that we may be focussing too much on environmental determinants of obesity while forgetting about more personal factors of importance, and that we need to do more in investigating mediation and interaction between personal and environmental factors as potential determinants of obesogenic behaviors and weight gain.
Dr. Frank van Lenthe from the department of Public Health at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam (, the Netherlands provided a first reaction to David Crawford’s presentation. He claimed that we need to focus even more on environmental factors, because good quality research in this field is still lacking.