In Australia, monitoring of overweight and obesity and associated risk factors (e.g. physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, poor diet quality, insufficient sleep and poor self-rated quality of life) at a national or regional level is limited. This is concerning considering over 27% of children and 63% of Australian adults are classified with overweight and obesity. There is an urgent need for detailed information on current prevalence estimates and associated risk factors to inform policy development, allocate services to communities, identify populations at increased risk, examination of trends and progress to date in halting or reversing the rise in obesity.
The ‘obesity and risk factor monitoring’ stream aims to address the current absence of routine and high quality information on obesity and risk factors to make tangible changes in policy and practice.
Our research program focuses on:
- Collating, analysing and disseminating routinely collected prevalence data in a centralised manner to give current and historical prevalence estimates of obesity and risk factors.
- Establishing high quality, high participatory, regular monitoring systems among both primary and secondary school children.
- Developing new methodologies to the collection of anthropometric and risk factor data among populations within the community.
- Investigating the data sets to further current understanding on the underlying influences on obesity.
- Evaluation of community based interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity.
A selection of our current projects includes:
- Australian Heart Disease Statistics (HeartStats)
- Victorian Maternal Child Health project
- The Healthy Together Victoria and Childhood Obesity Study
- The Goulburn Valley Primary School Health Behviours Monitoring Study
- Great South Coast Region Victoria Community Based Intervention
- Regional Victoria Health Behaviours Monitoring study
- Web search activity data accurately predicts population chronic disease risk in the USA
- Selection bias in obesity prevalence under an opt-in vs. opt-out consent approach among primary school children