I hope my podcast manages to explain that it is really hard to lose weight and that the only way we will realistically lose weight, and keep it off, is by choosing to follow a more healthy lifestyle. - Prof de Wet
Associate Professor Heidi de Wet received her first degree in botany and biochemistry at the University of the North-West in South Africa and moved to the University of Cape Town for her doctoral studies in Chemical Pathology. She is now a University Lecturer and tenured Associate Professor of Physiology. She arrived at teaching metabolism and appetite regulation through her research into a type of diabetes that affects new-born babies, called neonatal diabetes.
In addition to doing research into how the food we eat affects our feelings of hunger, satiety and contentment, she also teaches metabolism and endocrinology (how hormones affect us) to medical students. "In my opinion, understanding how humans interact with the food they eat is one of the most pressing and important research questions out there today. Teaching the next generation of doctors also makes me aware of how important it is that doctors understand how complex obesity is as a disease. There is a large genetic component to this disease which predisposes individuals to be highly efficient at storing fat, and there are no easy fixes." (Prof de Wet)
In light of this, Oxford Sparks invited Prof de Wet to take part in their latest Big Questions podcast asking the question: Why do diets fail?