Category Archives: NEWS & EVENTS

Roll out the cheeseboards this Christmas, because cheese might actually be good for you

Eating cheese is good for you: Glamour Magazine has a story on the Reading study led by Prof Ian Givens (Food) which found that eating cheese can reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks and stroke.

Ian Givens, Professor of Food Chain Nutrition and Director of IFNH at Reading University, said: “The biggest element in cheese appears to be the close association between calcium and fat. There is a link between the fat and calcium which makes the fat less digestible.”



Developing an innovation roadmap for climate change adaptation

A wide range of stakeholders came together in Brussels in December to talk about the action and innovation that is required to effectively respond to the challenges of climate change adaptation across much of Europe. The participatory workshop provided an opportunity to share findings from the Climate Adaptation Innovation Roadmap project – a short project led by the University of Reading and commissioned by the Climate-KIC ( on behalf of also EIT Health ( and EIT Food ( Workshop participants included KIC partners from all 3 KICs as well as external organisations working in the area of climate change adaptation, with representation across 8 European countries.  In addition to discussing project findings, workshop participants collaboratively developed the foundations for ‘innovation roadmaps’, both for individual KICs to take forward as well as for potential cross-KIC activity. An energetic day of exchange, learning and co-development! Once project reports have been approved, we will hold a lunchtime seminar to share project finding with colleagues.




Food Matters Live 2017 – External launch of the IFNH

Food Matters Live 2017 provided the perfect occasion for the launch of the Institute to an external audience. The cross-sector event – bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition – took place from the 21st – 23rd November at ExCeL in central London. This annual exhibition was attended by thousands of visitors and we were able to promote the Institute and the broad range of expertise and services at the University to a wide range of professionals across the food and drink sector. Effective collaboration between colleagues from the Knowledge Transfer Centre, Research Communications and Engagement Team, and the Institute led to a successful and very busy 3 days. Many people took part in our vote, to identify the biggest future food challenge. Sustainability was the top issue on people’s minds, but it was a close call, with many also feeling that issues relating to human health, consumer trust and food quality are key priorities moving forward. Food Matters Live provided a great platform for positioning the University as the go-to place for industry-academia collaboration.

The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health officially launched on 23 October

The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) had its internal launch on 23rd October and is a valuable addition to a family of interdisciplinary institutes that draw on research across the University of Reading and facilitate new cross-disciplinary research to enhance well-being, society and the economy.

Colleagues from across the University gathered to hear about the Institute’s remit and its plans to drive innovation in food production, processing and nutrition in order to deliver better diets and health.

Please register to become part of our growing University community and receive regular updates and communications, including information on potential funding opportunities. If you’d like more information, please contact Kate Green, Partnerships Manager (ext. 8489;

Food. The future Medicine Conference 2017

Food: The Future Medicine, a recent conference organised by the College of Medicine, stimulated recognition and debate about how food can be an important means of preventing disease as well as an important adjunct to medicine when we are ill. Key speakers came from across the worlds of research, food production, retail and medicine,. Professor Ian Givens, Director of the IFNH, contributed to the debate on whether dairy products are good or bad for us and raised the question of the advice that should be given to patients on eating these foods. Being part of such leading debate and discussion is a critical role for the IFNH, both to share and exchange experience and insights as well as to foster collaborations with like-minded individuals and organisations.


Professor Ian Givens was invited to contribute to a hearing on nutrition and health held on 11 October 2017 in the European Parliament, Brussels. The event was organised under the patronage of Angélique Delahaye, a French MEP with a background in agriculture and food, in collaboration with the European Milk Forum. The hearing’s aim was to discuss new evidence on food matrix effects and to start answering the question ‘Is it time to rethink how we evaluate the health effects of food? For more details please visit: Milk Nutritious by Nature


The Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, in his recent speech at the Higher Education Funding Council for England annual conference 2017 made reference to the University of Reading.

“Reading University, which is investing in a new interdisciplinary Centre for Food, Nutrition and Health. This will extend its relationships with the agri-food industry, enabling it to deliver research, innovation and education that addresses their needs and contributes to economic growth in the sector”
For more details of his full speech please see:


The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health is excited to be hosting its launch event on Monday 23rd October 2017 at 13.00 in the Meadow Suite, at Park House. The Institute aims to bring together the University’s world-leading expertise in food, nutrition and health and their relationships with agriculture and the environment to understand how improvements in food production, processing and nutrition can help deliver better diets and health. The Institute aims to support the development of multi-disciplinary opportunities. The launch will be opened by the VC and IFNH staff will share updates about the progress and future plans of the Institute and how you can engage with it moving forward. The launch will also be an opportunity for you to network with others who share related interests and expertise across these far-reaching areas. We hope to see you on the 23rd October!

What do we know about the fat in our food?

The shocking fact that 1 in 4 adults in the UK are obese is quite something. This figure has trebled in the last 30 years and is expected to increase to an astounding 1 in 2 by 2050. Do we, as a nation, know what we’re eating when it comes to fat?

This was the question posed by ITV’s Tonight programme which asked us to consider what we know about fat and to question the widely held belief that fat is a key opponent in our struggle against weight gain and the health risks that come with this. Professor Ian Givens kicked off the show by challenging the belief that dairy consumption makes you fat, as the evidence from innovative research undertaken by the University of Reading suggests that this is not in fact the case and that in some cases diary consumption can actually enhance weight loss.

Read more :