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About the Group

From discovery science to real world interventions and public health — we aim to improve the lives of young people and adults living with or at risk of developing obesity.

The Appetite & Obesity Group is a part of the Human Appetite Research Unit which sits within the School of Psychology and the Faculty of Medicine and Health. The Appetite and Obesity Research group conduct world leading research to understand the science of appetite control and obesity. Our research broadly spans across three key themes: 1) Eating Behaviour, Physical Activity and Energy Balance, 2) Stigma and Mental Health, and 3) Early determinants and life course.


The mission of the Appetite & Obesity Research Group as recognised leaders in the science of appetite and obesity is to:

  • Create positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities living with, or at risk of developing obesity.
  • Reduce inequalities in health across the lifespan through our research and impact activities
  • Disseminate our evidence-based knowledge to professionals, policy makers and the wider public.
  • Inspire and energise the next generation of leaders, educators and innovators in health and wellbeing.
  • Collaborate creatively as a team, with local and international partners, and people living with obesity, to improve health outcomes


Human Appetite research has been carried out at the University of Leeds for over 40 years. An integral part of becoming a world-leading unit for appetite and obesity research was the establishment of the Human Appetite Research Unit (known as HARU). HARU was established by Professor John Blundell and become operational in 1990. The Human Appetite Research Unit features a range of world-leading facilities and resources which enable the innovative research work of the Appetite & Obesity Research group. You can read more about the history of the appetite research and the Human Appetite Research Unit here.