ACERO Background

Obesity is increasing throughout the developed and developing world. Currently around 250 million persons have body compositions which class them as obese (Body mass index above 30) with 500 million overweight (BMI > 25). This is a worldwide prevalence of about 8.5%. However, the prevalence of overweight and obese persons in some societies, for example the UK and the US, currently exceeds 40%.

Obesity is associated with increases in type II diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and other disorders. Consequently, it has considerable public health significance, as well as economic repercussions. The direct costs of obesity to the US economy were quantified at over 100 Billion dollars, a staggering 3000 dollars EVERY SECOND!

Obesity is a problem of energy imbalance, which appears to have a combination of cultural, environmental and genetic causes.

There has been a long standing interest in the Aberdeen area in the study of energy regulation and energy balance at many different levels of study - from molecular and neurophysiological studies on animals to motivational investigations of food choice in man. In 1998 a group of 12 academics from across the University of Aberdeen (Faculties of Medicine and Science), The Rowett Research Institute, RGU and the Aberdeen Hospitals Trust met to form the "Aberdeen Centre for Energy Regulation and Obesity" (ACERO).

Together with their respective research groups ACERO comprises a total of around 40 full time research staff (including post doctoral scientists, PhD students and technical staff). Current active research grants total over £8 million and include substantial support from Research Councils, Charities and Industry.

The Group meets periodically where attendance is restricted to the membership of ACERO, but guests may be invited to attend. The group also organises biannual symposia which are again restricted to membership of the group and invited guests.

Meetings and activities of the group are organised by a chairman. Currently the co-chairmen are Dr Diane Jackson and Dr Sandy Ross (Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Aberdeen University). Email: or