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Professor Swinburn leads a research program in the area of obesity prevention, especially in childhood and adolescence. He oversees several community-based obesity prevention projects, mainly in the Barwon-South West region of Victoria as well as contributing to a number of other state, national and international projects in the area. He established the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and Related Research and Training and has input into global strategies on obesity issues through WHO and the International Obesity TaskForce. He teaches a postgraduate unit and a professional development course on Obesity Prevention.
Unit Chair HSN734 Obesity Prevention
Supervises 5 Doctorate students
Professor Swinburn’s research is driven by the need to find solutions to the obesity epidemic, particularly as it affects children and adolescents. One major thrust of his work has been to establish whole-of-community obesity prevention projects which are developed with sustainability in mind and are thoroughly evaluated. He is a Principal Investigator in the following community projects:
1. ‘Be Active Eat Well’ in Colac, Victoria (target age group 2-12 years)
2. ‘Romp & Chomp’ in Geelong, Victoria (target age group 0-5 years)
3. ‘It’s Your Move!’ in East Geelong/Bellarine, Victoria (target age group 12-18 years)
4. ‘Healthy Youth, Healthy Communities’ in Nasinu, Fiji (target age group 12-18 years)
5. ‘Ma’alahi Youth’ in Tongatapu, Tonga(target age group 12-18 years)
6. ‘Living for Life’ in Mangere, South Auckland (target age group 12-18 years)
7. ‘Fun ‘n’ Healthy in Moreland’, Melbourne (target age group 5-12 years)
Projects 1-3 form the Sentinel Site for Obesity Prevention in the Barwon-SW region of Victoria. Projects 3-6 form the Pacific OPIC Project (Obesity Prevention in Communities).
He also has research interests in the socio-cultural determinants of obesity, the health economics of obesity interventions, policy issues related to obesity and the definitions of obesity.
2004 Deakin University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding contribution to the Community (Deakin University / DHS Barwon-SW Partnership)
2003 Victoria Department of Human Services Public Health Excellence Award for Partnerships (Deakin University / DHS Barwon-SW Partnership)
Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity (President 2005-2007)
Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Fellow)
Public Health Association of Australia
Professor Swinburn contributes to School, Faculty and University activities. He is a member of Academic Board. He advises on several government and non-government programs.
Professor Swinburn is on the editorial board of the following journals:
• International Journal of Pediatric Obesity
• Preventive Medicine
• Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism
Swinburn B. Whole of community approaches to obesity prevention in adolescents. International Congress on Chronic Disease and Self Management. Melbourne, November 2008
Swinburn B. Overview of the Pacific Obesity Prevention In Communities (OPIC) project: A four-country study of obesity prevention in adolescents. Pasifika Medical Association Symposium. Auckland, October 2008
Swinburn B. The food industry and diabetes (and obesity). Western Pacific International Diabetes Federation Conference. Wellington, April 2008
Swinburn B. How to put the brakes on the obesity epidemic. European Congress on Obesity. Geneva, May 2008
Swinburn B, McCabe M, Mavoa H. Reducing adolescent obesity in Pacific populations. Society of Adolescent Medicine Conference. Greensboro, March 2008
Swinburn B, Shelly A. Effects of TV time and other sedentary pursuits. Pennington Biomedical Research Center 20th Anniversary Conference. Baton Rouge, March 2008