University of Surrey

Informing public policy on dietary related issues

Leading research and teaching in food and nutrition providing major public benefits and informing public policy on dietary related issues.

On average, prevalent health issues such as obesity and cardio-vascular disease generate a combined total cost of £36bn per annum to the NHS, society and business. With over 50 years of applied research and teaching on how food and nutrition affect health, the University of Surrey has sought to undertake research that mitigates this huge financial and economic cost of common, nutrition-related diseases.

Their pioneering research delivers advice and evidence to government and non-governmental organisations, health professionals and charities on a wide range of issues. This includes policy on energy and protein requirements, research for the prevention of type 2 diabetes, nutrition guidance to combat osteoporosis and iodine deficiency in pregnancy. The University has also focused on educating the workforce of the future through its degrees in nutrition, dietetics and food science.

The research has directly informed and influenced UK government policy on a range of topics such as obesity prevention, food labelling and vitamin D requirements, as well as in specific areas such as egg consumption and dietary needs in the UK Armed Forces. By bringing its research into the public arena it has helped raise consumer awareness of nutrition issues, helping to encourage healthier eating decisions based on scientific fact. The social benefits of this are huge and extend well beyond the UK.