Asda Customers save £57 a year by reducing food waste

Asda is the first UK supermarket to prove savings for customers, as two million reduce food waste at home following a campaign with the University of Leeds

Asda has become the first UK supermarket chain to confirm how much customers have saved after launching a campaign to tackle food waste.

Working in partnership with the University of Leeds, the business has revealed that customer bank balances were, on average, £57 better off a year as they committed to cutting food waste in their own homes.

Announced today at a parliamentary reception, hosted by MP Hilary Benn, Asda explained that the positive customer behaviour change was driven by a series of actions developed in-line with its customer insight, combined with research conducted by the University of Leeds.


Award for Published Paper

Professor Janet Cade's paper was chosen to receive the award for the best RCT (randomised controlled trial) published in 2014 by the Journal and the award was presented at the national IJBNPA conference in Edinburgh in June 2015.

Christian MS, Evans CE, Nykjaer C, Hancock N, Cade JE. Evaluation of the impact of a school gardening intervention on children's fruit and vegetable intake: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2014; 11:99


New Leeds Institute for Data Analytics facility and collaborative research in health and human behaviour

Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) is bringing together applied research groups alongside data scientists in mathematics and computer science to open up unparalleled opportunities to understand health and human behaviour.  We are investing in a purpose-built and fully equipped facility with space for more than 40 academic and research personnel, to maximise benefits for collaborative research and engagement with external partners.  Building on existing facilities including a safe data room, advanced computational infrastructure, and a fully equipped training suite, the new space is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.


Transformations to Sustainability

Professor Paul Routledge has been awarded a highly competitive network seed grant of €30,000 from the International Social Science Council Transformations to Sustainability programme.  The network, sited in the UK, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand is investigating ‘resource sovereignty’ including food.


Leeds signs Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu University (JSU)

The two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a recent visit from JSU’s President Yuan Shouqi to Leeds.

A new collaboration between the University and Jiangsu University in China aims to establish a joint research centre for food reassurance which will seek to accelerate the development and application of food safety and sensing technologies and solutions.

Professor Malcolm Povey, who is leading the collaboration at the University, says: “We aim to establish a UK-China joint laboratory on remote and non-invasive, non-destructive sensing for food quality and safety, which will enable us to maximise the resources and facilities in both universities.

“This is a key strategic activity for the University, as we have many internationally recognised experts in areas related to food sensing – including ultrasound, passive acoustics, microwave, terahertz, medical diagnostics, robotics, and optical techniques. Together with our engineering expertise, we also have leading exponents of the data analysis necessary to deal with data from multiple sources and modalities, and supply chain control. In addition to the academic leverage it gives us, the collaboration with JSU also offers greater investment and capacity in industrial or commercial strength engineering.”

The visit coincided with a Food Sensing Technology event at Weetwood Hall on 10 November which brought together food manufacturers, retailers and technology providers to discuss how improved food sensing technologies can better address food safety and quality.

The event at Weetwood was a great success, with many different disciplines represented, including food manufacturers, major retailers, equipment and technology manufacturers, and other universities and research organisations, as well a strong representation from University staff and government bodies including the Food Standards Agency. Some members of the Jiangsu delegation were also present for a large part of the day. Several working prototypes were used to demonstrate how new technolgies would work, and we had a drone airborne in the garden. Other technologies on display included hard plastic detection in ready meals without compromising the integrity of the pack, another which measured the internal density of a turnip to identify whether brown rot was present, and one which can accurately measure the crisp or crunch of food such as a biscuit being snapped.

Later in the day, the audience was split into four groups and challenged to identify the biggest issue they wanted solving within an industrial context. Each group was led by a representative from industry, and this proved very lively with strong debate. Rapid, non invasive affordable technology to test for physical and microbiological contamination of food throughout the supply chain was the main outcome, and sets a challenge for the research base.

The feedback from the day was positive, with many delegates asking for more networking time and even a second day if a similar event is done again.

Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Yorkshire Regional Meeting
The Use of Technology in Addressing Obesity
Thursday 12 October


Lunch and Networking 12:55-1:00pm: Chair’s welcome


Evidence-based digital solutions for weight loss maintenance. (James Stubbs, Professor of Appetite and Energy Balance, School of Psychology, University of Leeds)


The use of Couch to 5K by those with obesity. (Katie Pickering, Research Fellow, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University)


Co-designing digital technologies with patients and practitioners that work in practice. (Victoria Betton, Director, mhabitat, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


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Sadler Seminar Series 2017-18 - What to eat? Values and food choice

Daily food choice is shaped by numerous values—aesthetic, ethical, gustatory, political, religious, etc. How do those values interact with one another? What are the psychological mechanisms by which these values play a role in food choice? Why do people find it so difficult to act in accordance with their value commitments regarding food? And how can answers to these questions shed light on normative issues about eating? This seminar series seeks to encourage interdisciplinary conversations and collaboration on these and related topics.

You are warmly invited to the first seminar in this series:

‘Values and Flavour: Does Ethically Produced Food Taste Better?’

Monday 16th October

LHRI Seminar Room 1, 14:00-16:00.

Seminar leaders, Aaron Meskin (Philosophy, Leeds) and Pam Birtill (Psychology, Leeds) will discuss philosophical and psychological research on the interaction of values in the domain of food. Meskin will provide an overview of recent philosophical work exploring the connection between ethical and aesthetic value in food. He will argue that in some cases, food may be aesthetically better in virtue of its ethical flaws. Birtill will discuss recent experimental work about the effects of ethical information on flavour judgments and food evaluation.

All are welcome!

For further information about the series, see the website

Please direct any queries to Aaron Meskin (

Series convenors: Aaron Meskin (PRHS, Leeds); Pam Birtill (Psychology, Leeds); Wändi Bruine de Bruin (Centre for Decision Research, Leeds)

Co-sponsored by the LHRI and N8 Agrifood.

Next seminar: Monday 13th November  14:00-16:00 Rachel Muers (Theology and Religious Studies, Leeds)  'Values and food avoidance'

Yael Benn (Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan) 'Shopping for food online: why do we avoid information that can help us fulfill our goals?'


The final seminar in the FOOD series has now taken place:

 “Facing the Future of FOOD”

 The ESRC-funded seminar series Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, and aims to identify strategies that help consumers to achieve nutritious food choices that both improve food safety and reduce food waste.

The seminar series has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, with the goal of achieving the best impact. Our practitioner team members come from the Food Standards Agency which aims to improve food safety and healthy eating, as well as at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which aims to reduce food waste. Our academic team members come from the University of Leeds Centre for Decision Research and the Human Appetite Research Unit who are experts in consumer food choice, domestic food waste, and risk communication, as well as from the Newcastle University Food and Society Group at the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development who are experts in food safety and risk communication.

Through nine seminars to be held over three years, which started in January 2015, we have created a lasting network of users and academics who have mostly been working separately on these different topics to date. We have confirmed academic and practitioner speakers from across the UK and overseas who are key experts in the relevant domains.

If you would like to view some of the presentations and outputs from the previous seminars, you can view them in PDF or video format on the website

For more details about the project please visit