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Obesity: Fertility

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by his Department on links between obesity and infertility; and if he will make a statement. (158308)

Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Department’s total expenditure on health research has been devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Details of individual NHS supported research projects including a small number concerned with the relationship between obesity and fertility are available on the national research register at

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The MRC is not currently funding research specifically relating to the causal links between obesity and fertility. As part of a portfolio of more general research relating to the various causes of infertility however, the MRC has recently allocated £300,000 for the following research project on polycystic ovarian syndrome that links the symptoms of obesity and infertility:

Dr. W. C. Duncan, University of Edinburgh—Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: modelling development, phenotype and progression using a developmental paradigm.