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HOW FAT IS YOUR COUNTRY - AND WHICH NATIONS HAVE THE HIGHEST OBESITY RATES? THESE NEW MAPS MAY SURPRISE YOU...

Mail Online, 22/01/2015, Madlen Davies

Soaring rates of obesity in the Pacific Islands, nations in the South Pacific Ocean east of Australia and Fiji, have shot to the top of the worldwide obesity scale. Previously it has been theorised that Pacific Islanders are genetically predisposed to obesity but experts from Oxford University now say the introduction of Western diets to the islands are to blame for the problem.  The Oxford researchers said that newly introduced Western foods, which became a sign of social status among islanders, are ‘energy-dense, nutrient poor’ products which have led to rising levels of obesity. Professor Stanley Ulijaszek, of the University of Oxford, said: ‘Previous attempts to explain the disproportionately high rates of obesity in these and other island nations have tended to focus on the geographical isolation of islands and the risk of food shortages.  'Theories have suggested that islanders are genetically predisposed to putting on weight, but we believe this does not explain why obesity has emerged so rapidly on these islands.  'Interventions that tap into the naturally occurring social networks on the islands provide a new, and we believe more effective, way of tackling obesity.’ 
[NB The research was first published in 2014.]

Read more on the Daily Mail Online site (opens new window)

PARTIES WARNED OVER REPERCUSSIONS OF HUNG PARLIAMENT AFTER GENERAL ELECTION

The Guardian online, 19/01/2015, Patrick Wintour

Oxford researchers examined civil service guidance on constitutional arrangements in the light of a hung parliament after May 2015, and found that guidance had not been updated in the light of the 2010 election outcome.  They site potential problems over a lack of clear processes for handling changes in government where coalition or caretaker governments are involved

Read more on The Guardian website (opens new window)

LEADING COS TRANSFORMING TO DRIVE INNOVATION, GROWTH: REPORT 

Business Standard India, 22/01/2015, via Press Trust of India
Leading companies around the world are transforming themselves with a purpose to drive innovation and growth, new research by EY and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, has found. The research highlighted a shift toward "purpose-led" transformation.  "We have noticed from a number of conversations with CEOs and senior leaders that defining and implementing 'purpose' is becoming increasingly important to them," Saïd Business School Associate Dean of Executive Education Andrew White said. 

Read more on the Business Standard India website (opens new page)

 

GENDER ABORTION: TIME FOR URGENT ACTION 

Daily Telegraph online, 22/01/2015, Fiona Bruce

Conservative MP Fiona Bruce is leading a Parliamentary bid to formally ban sex-selective abortion. Article cites research by Dr Sylvie Dubuc of the University of Oxford which found strong circumstantial evidence that sex-selective abortions were common in certain communities in the UK.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website (opens new window)

CRACKING THE CODE TO ECONOMIC SUCCESS: SOCIAL SCIENTISTS ARE AS VITAL AS ENGINEERS

The Guardian online, Higher Education Network, 21/01/2015, Jonathan Michie
Comment: Jonathan Michie, President of Kellogg College and Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Oxford, argues that the social sciences play an important role in enabling us to reach our economic and societal potential, concluding: ‘The social sciences are necessary to analyse and understand these social processes, and to develop appropriate policies – corporate and public – to utilise our scientific and engineering knowledge to best effect. There can be no doubt that the social sciences matter.’

Read more on the Guardian website (opens new window)

 

EUROPE WILL BENEFIT FROM GREECE BEING GIVEN A FRESH START

Financial Times, 23/01/2015, p.12
Letters: Professor Frances Stewart and Professor Simon Wren-Lewis of the University of Oxford are among a number of leading economists signing a letter about the best way to tackle the debt crisis in Greece.

Read more on the Financial Times letters pages (opens new website)