Professor Phil James qualified in physiology and medicine at University College London before working at the UK’s MRC Unit in Tropical Metabolism in Jamaica for three years. He then became a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene. From 1974-82 he ran the Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre and was Director of the Rowett Research Institute from 1982-1999.
Professor James chaired and wrote the first public health nutrition policy reports for Scotland, and several policy reports for the UK, before chairing and writing reports for WHO Europe, and then the WHO 797 report on diet and public health for malnourished and chronic disease prone countries. In 1996 he established the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), responsible for drafting the first WHO Technical Report (2000) on the prevention and management of obesity.
He persuaded Tony Blair to create the UK Food Standards Agency, and the EU a DG SANCO which preceded the EU Food Standards Agency. He chaired and wrote the UN Commission’s report on global issues in nutrition and was Vice President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. He is currently President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.