Published: 01-10-2015 15:57 | Updated: 01-10-2015 16:02

Erik Hemmingsson is newly appointed Associate professor at the unit of Metabolism

Erik Hemmingsson is a behaviorist and researcher on obesity at Överviktscentrum, Karolinska University Hospital. He is newly appointed Associate professor at the Unit of Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Huddinge.

Congratulations Erik! What does this appointment of Associate professor mean to you?

- It´s a big step! There has been much work to become an Associate professor. This feels like a big recognition and a sense of security in that the research will continue in the future, says Erik Hemmingsson about his new title.

Will this lead to any changes in terms of work?

- I continue my research at Överviktscentrum and I will supervise my students as before, but this is of course a recognition that I hope will lead to more partnerships and that the platform I appear at getting bigger.

What is your research about?

- I do research on overweight and obesity and how the body weight is controlled, for example through stress and mental illness. It has been shown that children who grow up under very precarious family relationships are at a significantly higher risk of becoming overweight, and that there is a clear link between obesity and mental illness. It is these people we want to help while we also want to dispel the prejudices surrounding the disease. Lifestyle explains only a small part of why some become obese while others remain thin.

Why did you choose to do research about obesity?

- I started researching on obesity because I always felt that this is a group in the society that I wanted to help. I realized early that overweight children were bullied at school and as an adult I saw the increased risk of other illness such as obesity means. But it is still the psychosocial effects of obesity that makes me want to help this very exposed group.