New research funding aims to tackle childhood obesity

Young children fall short of meeting diet and activity recommendations, and one in five Australian children have overweight or obesity by five years of age. While support for families to establish positive health behaviours and prevent obesity are not easily accessible, Flinders University research is striving to make positive change in this area.

Dr Brittany Johnson, from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is embarking on world-first research to reverse this trend thanks to a new fellowship funded by The Hospital Research Foundation Group.

Announced this week, the three-year Early-Mid Career Researcher fellowship will enable Dr Johnson and colleagues to develop a new early childhood obesity prevention package that is evidence-backed and developed alongside end users. This innovative approach will ensure easy adoption into routine practice and will streamline supports for families.

As part of four South Australian-based healthcare projects selected for funding, Dr Johnson’s project will receive $390,000 over three years to continue her high-quality and impactful research with colleagues at Flinders’ Caring Futures Institute.

Dr Johnson says she is extremely grateful to The Hospital Research Foundation Group for supporting EMCRs to continue research in SA.

“I’m excited to spend the next 3 years working alongside end users to develop an early childhood obesity prevention package to be easily adopted into routine practice and streamline supports for families,” she says.

The funding ensures talented researchers and their teams are retained in South Australia, to continue their high-quality and impactful research programs while building SA’s health and medical research capability for the future.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group used the federal NHMRC investigator scheme to identify the worthy recipients, with a strong focus on patient impact.

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Caring Futures Institute