On 19 January, the second edition of the UG-Aletta Dialogues took place in Mexico City (CDMX). Some 50 RUG alumni and guests gathered at the Dutch embassy, where they were welcomed by ambassador and UG-alumnus Wilfred Mohr.
The theme of the meeting was 'Obesity and Public Health'.
Dr Valentina Gallo
, associate professor of Epidemiology and Sustainable Health at Campus Fryslan of the UG, presented some evidence pointing towards the fact that obesity is at least partially the result of the way we produce food.
, general manager Philips Mexico and UG-alumnus, also joined the discussion as the second speaker. An engaged discussion ensued about many different aspects that play a role.
For example: the established interests of the food industry which commercialise and benefit from an unhealthy and unsustainable food culture; poverty and inequalities make many people have less money, time and energy to engage in sustainable food consumption. It was also noted that BMI (Body Mass Index) is not a good indicator of obesity, metabolism (the rate at which your body converts nutrients into energy) is much more relevant but harder to measure. Because so many factors are in play when looking at body shapes and size, it becomes difficult to have one rule that fits all conditions, and the shift should be moved from individual responsibility to environmental and international governance factors. So Shame on Body Shaming!
The meeting was organised by the alumni committee in Mexico in cooperation with the UG Alumni Relations Department (
) and with the UG office in Mexico (
Luis Andrés González Gutiérrez
). The Mexico alumni committee consists of the following UG alumni: Andrea Kat Canto, Jaime Rios Balandrano, Wilfred Mohr, Arturo Agustín Díaz Barriga Gutiérrez (chair), Rocio Aguilar Suarez, Héctor García Hernández, Felipe Antonio Calderón Salazar, Ezequiel Alberto Colmenero Acevedo.
Director of Alumni Relations and Philanthropy
also attended the meeting in Mexico. The visit to Mexico was further used to strengthen contacts with UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, with 350,000 students the largest and most important university in Latin America) and the university fund FUNAM, as well as to establish relations with other universities in Latin America.
The Aletta Dialogues are a series of worldwide public dialogues that pay tribute to Aletta Jacobs’ pioneering spirit, fight for women’ rights, her international outlook, and strong link to our university. Each Aletta Dialogue will have a different theme on the crossroads of science and societal challenges. This theme will be introduced by two speakers, an expert from UG and a local/regional expert, after which a discussion follows between the experts and the audience. In November 2022, the first Aletta Dialogue took place in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The University of Groningen is proud of its alumni. They are our ambassadors, our antenna’s in society. Studying in Groningen is the basis for a lifelong bond with the university and fellow students and alumni. To develop and celebrate this bond, we regularly organise events for alumni, in the Netherlands and around the world. Would you also like to help organise alumni events? Then email
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