The global obesity cluster of the Global Obesity Centre prioritizes obesity prevention research and evaluation in low and middle-income countries and research into global influences on obesity such as marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The work the Centre does with WHO is led and managed through this cluster.

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention was established at Deakin University in 2003. The terms of reference for the centre are to:

  • To provide expert advice to WHO on developing, advocating for, implementing and evaluating system-based strategies for complex problems like obesity
  • To assist WHO with population-level research (target setting, guideline and indicator development, cost effectiveness analysis, monitoring and surveillance, evaluation) on obesity
  • To assist WHO strengthen the skills of professionals and academics globally in the science of obesity prevention and in promoting healthy eating and physical activity through the life-course

Activities and Interest Areas

Food-related policy in the Pacific

A major focus of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence is understanding and strengthening food-related policy in the Pacific for health. This research is conducted with the Pacific Research Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases (C-POND) at Fiji National University

Prevention of non-communicable disease in the Pacific

Obesity is just one of the modifiable risk factors for non-communicable disease and with C-POND and other partners we are working on interventions to reduce salt intake and reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Defining healthy foods and reducing marketing pressure on children and families

In partnership with WHO, we are developing tools to help low and middle income countries make decisions about what is healthy and what is not when it comes to food and to measure the power and exposure of marketing to children.

Promoting Health Islands

We regularly assist WHO with the Healthy Islands Best Practice and Best Proposal Recognition Awards.

Other interest areas

Recently, we have assisted WHO with the development of advocacy documents for obesity prevention and with planning for regional obesity surveillance. Also, we are interested in providing opportunities for students and public health practitioners to visit the Global Obesity Centre to gain skills in obesity prevention.


The WHO Collaborating Centre Leads

Steve Allender

Colin Bell


WHO Responsible Officers

Dr Katrin Engelhardt, Western Pacific Regional Office, Manila, Philippines

Dr Chrizuru Nishida, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland


Cluster members

Ilisapeci Kubuabola

Jillian Wate

Marj Moodie

Silvia Hope

Erica Reeve

Erik Martin


Collaborations and Partnerships


The George Institute

University of Auckland

Pacific MANA