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University launches unique food and health research programme – University of Reading

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University launches unique food and health research programme

Release Date 23 March 2006

a selection of fruitOn Thursday 30 March, The University of Reading is launching a multi-disciplinary science programme to investigate Food Chain and Health issues. Harnessing £5 million of current funding, the new programme will investigate how diseases such as heart disease, Type II diabetes, gastroenteritis and cancers can be prevented by changes in lifestyle, food production and diet. Chronic diseases are a major and growing societal and financial concern. Moreover, an increasingly ageing population means that there is a greater prevalence of these diseases. Exploiting the University's international expertise across a wide-range of Schools, this programme is focuses on a long term vision that will also generate short-to-medium term benefits for this crucial area of public health. Researchers wish to investigate particular food ingredients that may have beneficial properties, underpinning their investigations by exploring the effects. Subjects that will be examined during the programme include; factors influencing dietary choice, milk and its role in health and disease, diet and ageing, food and performance, DNA based analysis of ancient gut flora components and the bioactive components from foods. Professor Glenn Gibson, leader of the Food Chain and Health research programme, said, 'Food Chain and Health is the first of a number of research programmes being launched at the University which will use expertise from a large selection of our Schools. Reading's research strengths lie in a diverse number of areas, enabling the University to take a unique approach to its research by developing a number of cross-discipline research themes.' Schools at the University who are currently involved in this programme include Agriculture, Policy and Development, Archaeology, the BioCentre, Biological Sciences, Food Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology. Ends The launch of the 'Food Chain and Health' Research Theme takes place at the the Madejski Theatre, Agriculture Building, on the University of Reading's Whiteknights campus between 3.30pm and 7.00pm on Thursday 30th March 2006. Members of the media are welcome to attend the event, but must confirm attendance beforehand. For media enquiries please contact: Professor Glenn Gibson, School of Food Bioscience T: 0118 378 8715 E: Eleanor Holmes, Press Officer at the University of Reading T: 0118 378 6166 E:

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