More than 70 leading figures from the worlds of politics, industry, science and health will be debating obesity, sugar tax, sustainable diets and a host of other topical issues at this year’s Food Matters Live conference.

Ministers from the Department of Health and DEFRA will join business leaders from industry, including Mars, Britvic, Refresco Gerber and Mondelez, alongside the Advertising Standards Authority’s Guy Parker, Raymond Blanc and marathon runner Paula Radcliffe to head an all-star cast of experts taking part in the Food Matters Live education programme.

They will team up with renowned commentators, including food writer and broadcaster Gizzi Erskine and behavioural economist Tim Harford, model Claudia Schiffer’s former chef Sophie Mitchell, and scientist Professor Lord Robert Winston to address the complex and challenging relationship between food, health and nutrition.

Hot topics under the spotlight include: the ethics of marketing food to children, the future for ‘better-for-you’ soft drinks, the impact of celebrity on eating habits and an in-depth look at the food oftomorrow.

BBC presenters Jonathan Dimbleby, Anita Anand and Simon Jack will chair the debates, which are the highlight of the three-day free-to-attend Food Matters Live event, which returns to London’s ExCeL on 22-24 November.

At the same time, a multi-stream seminar programme offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to gain practical advice from more than 300 expert speakers.

Based on case studies and real-life experience, sessions cover a broad range of issues, such as nutrition for health and wellbeing, personalised nutrition, tackling obesity in practice, improving teenage diets, understanding the scale of the ‘free from’ trend, the future of sustainable proteins, the importance of packaging design and marketing healthier options.

More than 15,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s Food Matters Live exhibition, featuring over 600 leading organisations, ranging from global multinational companies to young and emerging enterprises from the UK and internationally.

Live attractions, demonstrations and tastings will bring the learning to life, giving visitors a chance to investigate what is shaping the future of food  – from consumer food choices at the Experimental Café to new concepts underpinning innovations in ‘better-for-you’ food and drink in the Evidence Base.

In the Catering for Health theatre, chefs and nutritionists will present healthier menu choices to suit different budgets for health conscious consumers, while in the Feed Sensorium attraction, visitors will discover a range of science innovations from advances in cellular agriculture to the exciting potential of electrically stimulated flavour.

Briony Mansell Lewis, Food Matters Live Director, said: “We’re delighted once again to welcome so many experts to showcase and share best practice with colleagues in food, health and nutrition. Food Matters Live is fast becoming an annual business and education opportunity for many in the industry – and for smaller, innovative challenger brands, an unrivalled chance to get their products noticed.”