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Jerry Morris Memorial Lecture and MSc Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health Award Winners

Professor Kate Hunt Antony Potts

20 February 2018

On Thurs 8th February we were delighted to welcome Professor Kate Hunt to deliver the Jerry Morris Memorial Lecture.

Professor Hunt’s lecture was entitled "Gender-sensitised weight management programmes for men: are they needed, and do they work?". The lecture covered Professor Hunt’s pioneering work, which has shown a need to develop specific weight management programmes for men and the development of the highly successful Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme which has now been adapted and is being implemented globally. The key take home messages from the talk were:

1) Gender sensitised programmes can attract overweight/ obese men who are not using commercial or NHS-delivered weight management programmes

2) Gender sensitised programmes can retain men’s interest

3) Gender sensitised programmes can help men to lose weight and make behaviour changes, and this change can be sustained longer term

4) Gender sensitised programmes can be ‘translated’ to other settings and countries.

These findings have major implications for the research, teaching and practice of our Centre and we were delighted that Professor Hunt was able to spend time with us to share her insight on such an important topic.

The Jerry Morris lecture was also a chance for us to celebrate the success of all our students who were graduating with Masters degrees in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health and awards were given for the best dissertation, best international student and student impact.

The Best Dissertation award recipient was Lisa Dervan. Lisa studied the MSc part time whilst working as an Engagement, Activity and Physical Team Leader/ Senior Exercise and Health Practitioner at the Montpellier Low Secure Unit in Gloucester. Lisa's dissertation was a national level audit of the physical activity and food environment within 39 Low Secure Units for adults with serious mental illness in England. Lisa presented her findings at the 5th Health and Justice Summit held in December in Glasgow and is working with her supervisor, Dr Simon Sebire, to write her work up for peer review.

The Best International student award recipient was Chelsea Alventosa. Chelsea was an excellent student who distinguished herself throughout the course by her enthusiasm for the subject. Chelsea’s dissertation used mixed methods to investigate the nutrition e-health literacy of millennial women in the USA. She received the highest grade in her class for the taught component of the course and an astounding 94% for her dissertation!

The Student Impact Award winner was Hannah Forde. A key goal of the centre is to ensure that we are engaging with our local partners as part of our impact and engagement strategy. Hannah Forde completed the University of Bristol Sports Leadership award and gained important skills in coaching young children and people into organized sports. She volunteered with Alive n’ Kicking, a local initiative to prevent obesity by improving nutrition and increasing physical activity at the family level and with the Bristol North West Food Bank, helping in their delivery of their "Eat Well Spend Less" course, which teaches clients of the food bank practical cookery skills, enabling them to cook inexpensive, nutritious meals with food bank-supplied ingredients. She capitalized on this experience to conduct her dissertation on the perceptions of food bank users of the Sugar Smart messages, a national campaign to reduce sugar ran locally by Bristol City Council and therefore contributed to findings that can further inform this campaign.

Photos from the prize-giving and lecture are available on our Flckr page.

Further information

Professor Hunt is currently Professor of Gender and Health at Glasgow University and Associate Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.  In February 2018, Professor Hunt will be moving to University of Stirling to take up a new Chair in Behavioural Sciences and Health.

The lecture is delivered annually in recognition of the pioneering work of Professor Jeremiah “Jerry” Morris, who showed in the 1950s that bus conductors were much less likely to have a heart attack than bus drivers because they were active collecting tickets on the bus. This seminal work is the basis for the physical activity field and we are delighted to have an annual lecture named in Professor Morris’s honour. 

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