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British Nutrition Foundation's (BNF) conference series, The what, how and when of weight loss a series of three half day events aims to explore some of the complexities around dieting and weight loss. In this series, BNF will look at behavioural approaches to weight loss, dieting myths and future possibilities to aid weight and obesity management.

Why is this conference series important?

Obesity is a significant health issue which places a considerable burden on the NHS. Carrying excess weight can have important implications for an individual’s physical and mental health across the life course.

Obesity results from interactive influences of biological, physiological, psycho-social, behavioural and environmental factors. With such a multifactorial aetiology, prevention of weight gain, weight loss and weight maintenance is less than straightforward. Whilst the energy equation (calories consumed = calories expended +/- calories stored as body fat or glycogen) holds true, food choice is highly complex. As such, interventions that only address factors at the individual level, and do not take into account the social and environmental influences mentioned above, are unlikely be successful.