Obesity Research

Obesity is a major public health problem affecting a growing number of children from many countries, including Australia, and which is associated with a range of medical and psychosocial complications.

We study the causes and consequences of child and adolescent obesity with the aim of preventing future health problems associated with weight gain in the early years.

In close collaboration with researchers across Kids Research and others nationally and internationally, we study the causes of obesity, ways of preventing its occurrence, its metabolic complications, and treatment programs to manage children who develop obesity.

The Obesity Research Group is led by Professor Louise Baur. Enquiries can be directed to Office Manager Diane Hanlon: diane.hanlon@health.nsw.gov.au

Current projects

Many of our research projects have direct clinical implications for the local population we see in the clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. We also lead a number of international studies with collaborators in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Some of our current clinical research projects include:

  • Overweight and obesity in Bandung, Indonesia
  • M-health strategies and obesity prevention
  • Different diets for obesity management
  • Long-term weight loss maintenance
  • Obesity prevention in early life

The research team

> Professor Louise Baur, Obesity Research Group Leader

Louise is a Consultant Paediatrician and Dean of the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health and CHW Clinical School at the University of Sydney. She is also a senior member of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre which focuses on the population health and health promotion aspects of obesity, nutrition and physical activity.

Louise has made research contributions to the prevention of obesity, the impact of food marketing to children and management of obesity and related disorders in a variety of clinical settings. For more information please visit Louise's University of Sydney profile page

> Dr Natalie Lister, Research Fellow, email: natalie.lister@health.nsw.gov.au

Natalie is an Accredited Practicing Dietician and postdoctoral clinical researcher investigating the psychosocial aspects of food intake and obesity in childhood. She joined the Obestiy Research group in 2015 and more information can be found on Natalie's University of Sydney profile page

> Other Research Team Members

Key publications

Khan M, Choudhury N, Uddin M, Hossain L, Baur L (2016) Longitudinal trends in global obesity research and collaboration: a review using bibliometric metadata. Obesity Reviews 17(4): 377-385

Kelly B, King L, Chapman K, Boyland E, Bauman A, Baur L (2015) A hierarchy of unhealthy food promotion effects: identifying methodological approaches and knowledge gaps. American Journal of Public Health 105(4): e86-e95

Nguyen B, Shrewsbury V, O’Connor J, Lau C, Steinbeck K, Hill A, Baur L (2015) A process evaluation of an adolescent weight management intervention: findings and recommendations. Health Promotion International 30(2): 201-212

Jiang H, Wen LM, Hu Q, Yang D, He G, Dibley M, Baur LA, Qian X (2014) Could short message service improve infant feeding practices? Findings from a community-based study in Shanghai. JAMA Pediatrics 168:471-478

Dietz WH, Baur LA, Hall K, Puhl RM, Taveras E, Uauy R, Kopelman P (2014) Management of obesity: Improving health care training and systems for prevention and intervention. Lancet

Freeman B, Kelly B, Baur L, Chapman K, Chapman S, Gill T, King L (2014) Food and beverage marketing on Facebook. Am J Publ Health 12:e56-e64

Wen LM, Simpson J, Rissel C and Baur LA (2013) Maternal ‘junk food’ diet during pregnancy as a predictor of high birthweight: findings from the Healthy Beginnings Trial. Birth 40:46-51

Baur LA (2013) Obesity: Response to a global epidemic. In: Berman S, Palfrey JS, Bhutta Z, Grange AO. Global Child Health advocacy. American Academy of Pediatrics 261-270. ISBN: 978-58110-780-7

Kelly B, King L, Baur L, Rayner M, Lobstein T, Monteiro C, Macmullen J, Mohan S, Barquera S, Friel S, Hawkes C, Kumanyika S, L’Abbé M, Lee, A, Ma J, Neal B, Sacks G, Sanders D, Snowdon W, Swinburn B, Vandevijere S, Walker S (2013)Monitoring food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions to children. Obesity Reviews 14 (S1): 59–69. Free on-line access

Nguyen T, Shrewsbury VA, O’Connor J, Steinbeck KS, Hill AJ, Shah S, Kohn MR, Baur LA (2013) Two-year outcomes of an adjunctive telephone coaching and electronic contact intervention for adolescent weight-loss maintenance: the Loozit randomized controlled trial. Int J Obesity 37:468-72