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Warwick expertise used to explore the ‘average human’

Research by two University of Warwick academics is being used to explain to the public how human bodies work.

An exhibition called ‘The Average Human’ is being funded by a Wellcome ‘People Award’ and the event draws on work by Professor Francesco Cappuccio and Dr Tom Barber of Warwick Medical School.

Human body

The aim of the summer-long event, which opens on 14 July, is to open up biomedical science to the general public. Held in the centre of Wolverhampton at the Light House Media Centre visitors to the free attraction are taken on a multisensory trip through the workings of a human body. It explores what happens to food after it’s been eaten, and the sleep and exercise habits of the average Briton.

At its heart is an interactive exhibition including five multi-sensory zones that highlight unexpected links between our everyday habits and wellbeing. One of the exhibits is an interactive bedroom focusing on research by Professor Cappuccio who is a World Health Organization adviser on nutrition and health. He said: “One of my areas of research is sleep and visitors to the exhibition can learn about the dangers of not having enough sleep and other common obstacles to living a well-balanced life.”


Another exhibit invites visitors to push food through a giant mouth, along the gut and into a toilet, whilst exploring pioneering science on nutrition and metabolism.


The display draws on work by Dr Barber. He said: “This is an opportunity for people to learn how the food they choose to eat affects their health. It is great to be involved in an outreach project that educates people about their bodies and hopefully encourage them to eat healthier food.” Prof. Cappuccio’s research on the unhealthy effects of eating too much salt also features in the exhibition.

Organiser Nerina Villa added: “You'll see how much the average person eats, drinks, sleeps and excretes and what effect it has on all of us. Did you know the average person eats 32kg of added sugar a year, which is nearly three times the recommended amount?”

In addition to the exhibits animations and films will be shown, and healthy cookery workshops will demonstrate the biomedical science behind advice on healthy eating.

12 July 2016

This free exhibition is open from 14th July to 29th August at Light House Media Centre, Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT

The exhibition is being funded by a Wellcome ‘People Award’.

For further details and to request an advance copy of the paper please contact Nicola Jones, Media Manager, University of Warwick 07920531221 or