On the occasion of the 22nd European Congress on Obesity (ECO), and as part of its ongoing support for ECO and for the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), the ISA organised on Friday 8th May a symposium entitled ‘Sweetness in everyday life: a scientific review of our appetite for sweet taste and the effect on weight management’. Chaired by Dr Finlayson and led by renowned international experts in science and nutrition, this dynamic and insightful panel discussion addressed the management of sweetness in our daily life, highlighting latest research on sweet taste, food intake behaviour and appetite, body weight, and the role low calorie sweeteners can play.

  • Dr France Bellisle, from the Université Paris 13, France and Université Laval, Québec, Canada, touched on human appetite for sweetness, addressing the role of biology, exposure and the contribution of low calorie sweeteners;
  • Prof Hely Tuorila, from the Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, presented the audience with new data demonstrating variations in responses to sweet products in relation to demographics and body weight;
  • Dr Graham Finlayson, from the School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, UK, addressed hedonic impact of sweet taste and control over food intake.

Our invitation to the symposium is still available by clicking here.

Read more about the outcome of the symposium, what experts said on the appetite for sweetness by reading our press release here.

Stay tuned for further insight on the speakers’ and their presentations, exclusive video interviews coming up soon!

The European Congress on Obesity (ECO) is the official annual congress of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO). It is considered the most important annual scientific event on obesity in Europe, attracting more than 2,000 participants from over 75 counties. Participants are experts and opinion leaders in the field of obesity and its related conditions, covering a wide range of professions. The interdisciplinary nature of obesity research and education allows the programme to address key issues on obesity and its numerous comorbidities. For more information about ECO, please visit the Congress website by clicking here.

Dr France Bellisle

Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle, University of Paris 13, France

After obtaining degrees in experimental psychology in Canadian and French universities, France has devoted her career to original research in the field of human ingestive behaviours. Her research interests include all types of determinants of food and fluid intake in human consumers, including psychological, sensory and metabolic factors as well as environmental influences. In particular, she has investigated the psycho-biological mechanisms of body weight control and the early life factors affecting obesity in children. France has published over 250 articles (original data and reviews) in international peer-reviewed journals and contributed to several books.

Prof Hely Tuorila

Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki

Professor Hely Tuorila holds a chair of sensory food science at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where she also has received MSc and PhD degrees in nutrition. Her lasting scientific interest has been in the role of sensory, hedonic, and cognitive factors in food choice, and the interplay between these. She has supervised many theses around these topics. During her post-doctoral and sabbatical visits at the University of California, Davis (1986-87), US Army Natick laboratories, Natick, Massachusetts (1993 and later) and the University of Florence, Italy (2008), she worked on consumer responses to nutritionally modified and unfamiliar foods. Lately, she has also been active in research on children’s responses to food. Since 2003, Hely has collaborated with Finnish medical researchers on genetics of chemosensory perception and preferences, and supervised with these colleagues three PhD theses on genetics of food perceptions. With her colleagues and graduate students, Hely has published about 150 refereed papers and book chapters, 3 textbooks (in Finnish), and a large number of science popularization articles. She belongs to the editorial boards of journals Food Quality and Preference, Journal of Sensory Studies, Food Science and Technology (LWT), and Chemosensory Perception. She is also a long-term member of the editorial board of science dissemination newsletter Food Today (EUFIC). She belongs to the executive committee of the leading global conference series Pangborn Sensory Science Symposia. In 2013, she received the Elsevier FQP Established Researcher Award which is a recognition granted to a prominent sensory-consumer researcher every second year.

More information about Prof Hely Tuorila: http://tuhat.halvi.helsinki.fi/portal/en/person/tuorila

Dr Graham Finlayson

Appetite Control & Energy Balance Research, School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Dr Graham Finlayson is Associate Professor in Biopsychology at the School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine & Health, University of Leeds, UK. His training experience has included positions at New York Obesity Centre at Columbia University, Nestlé Research Centre, Lausanne, a Caledonian Futures Research Fellowship at Glasgow Caledonian University and Visiting Research Fellowships at University of Liverpool and Queensland University of Technology. He researches on two themes within the psychobiology of human motivation: the study of food reward and appetite control; and the interaction between energy intake and energy expenditure. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters and supervised 10 PhD students. His research is currently funded by the UK Biotechnology and Bioscience Research Council and European Union Framework 7 projects FULL4HEALTH, SATIN and DAPHNE.

More information about Dr Graham Finlayson and Appetite & Energy Balance Research at University of Leeds: http://aceb-research.leeds.ac.uk/