French Talks on “Tackling Obesity”


LIA-CNRS “Food, Cultures and Health” was officially launched at Taylor’s University, Malaysia on 20th October 2016, with the presence of Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam, who was then Health Minister of Malaysia. It aims at pooling expertise, facilities and material resources to carry out scientific projects to study the links between food patterns and health from the perspective of Euro-Asian populations.


French talk series are organized monthly by Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur (AFKL). The talks will involve presentations by one expert from France and another from Malaysia to address a common topic from their respective perspective and experience. The talk will then be followed by a Q&A session with the audience before it ends.

The topic addressed on 17th February 2020 was “Tackling Obesity”. Obesity is indeed considered to be a global concern and is discussed in France and Malaysia by different disciplines such as medicine, nutrition, public health, sociology, anthropology and political sciences. Prof. Poulain introduced about the French experience, based on his contributions to French multi-disciplinary scientific expertise while Prof. Ismail presented the Malaysian experience, based on his contribution to this field of enquiry from nutrition since the 90s. From the comparison of both the presentations, differences arise between the French and the Malaysian experiences in defining and dealing with obesity.


The speakers were Prof. Jean-Pierre Poulain, Chair of "Food Studies", Taylor’s Toulouse University Centre, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Co-director of LIA-CNRS, “Food, Cultures and Health” and Emeritus Prof. Mohd Ismail Noor, Emeritus Professor in Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Co-director of LIA-CNRS, “Food, Cultures and Health”