The seminar put on by the University of Durham has been uploaded to the Spirituality, Theology and Health website, you can also watch it below.


The obesity epidemic is a global health problem affecting all aspects of life. Society is affected economically both in terms of productivity and healthcare costs, on an individual level people suffer physically, mentally and spiritually. While obesity is a multifactorial problem for which there is no single solution very little attention has been given to the spiritual causes and consequences of those struggling with weight issues or how the church can address these needs. I will present an overview of the current evidence regarding spirituality and weight problems, the novel work that we are undertaking at Coventry University, and the positive clinical outcomes resulting from my church based intervention as well as the significant spiritual growth experienced by those who took part.


Dr Deborah Lycett is Reader in Nutrition, Dietetics and Spiritual Health at Coventry University, UK exploring whole person approaches to obesity and other nutrition related conditions which includes physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of care. She is particularly interested in investigating the role of holistic church based interventions, to help those with long-term conditions in the community. She is interested more generally in the role of spiritual assessment within dietetic practice. Deborah has several PhD students working alongside her in these areas. She is also honorary research fellow in Primary Care Clinical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is on the Education Board of the British Dietetic Association and involved with the European Institute for Religion, Spirituality and Health. Deborah has over 20 years’ clinical experience as a dietitian. She has worked for many years in the UK NHS and also privately, running her own Nutrition and Dietetic Consultancy. She is a Fellow of the Association of Higher Education, and teaches in medical and health science faculties.