World-First Childhood Obesity Research To Begin

02 May 2016

Months after receiving a $2.5 million grant to conduct ground-breaking research into the childhood obesity epidemic, the new Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood has been launched.

Professor Louise Baur, Group Leader of the Obesity Research Group at the Kids Research Insitute, will lead a team of experts from across the world at the new centre based at The University of Sydney.

The team will examine the crucial early years of life (children aged zero to five-years-old) to better understand the importance of good nutrition, exercise and the effects of screen time.

“Currently one in five children in Australia are already affected by overweight or obesity by the time they start school.

"By just focusing on intervening at primary school level, it's already too late," said Prof Louise Baur.

The $2.5 million Centre, funded by NHMRC until 2020,  will bring together specialists from a variety of disciplines including paediatricians, dieticians, health experts, economists and exercise physiologists, bringing a multidisciplinary approach to the complex childhood obesity problem.

“This Centre will make a substantial contribution to ending the burden of childhood obesity in Australia and internationally by addressing these significant knowledge gaps, and will help to translate world-leading research into effective and targeted policy programs to reverse the concerning upward trends in childhood obesity,” said Professor Baur.

Professor Louise Baur is an internationally renowned childhood obesity researcher and works as a consultant paediatrician in Weight Management Services at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. She is also Associate Dean of The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, and a member of the Sydney Children's Hospital Network Board.

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