Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

Advancing the science of obesity prevention​

Our innovative research empowers people and enables healthier environments with the goal of preventing obesity and improving health in society. ​

Catalysing improvements in population health

The Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE) is a world-class research group based in Deakin's Institute for Health Transformation. GLOBE is a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention with strong links to government, other research groups and a diverse range of collaborators worldwide. The centre:

  • conducts innovative population-level research on preventative health and nutrition​
  • advocates for evidence-based preventative health policy​
  • strengthens the skills of communities, professionals and academics in the science, policy and practice of preventive health and nutrition across the life-course.​

Our research themes

Our research team works collaboratively across 12 research themes, actively seeking to push the science of preventive nutrition and health through population-level research, advocacy and capacity-building across all levels of society in Australia and internationally.  Here are just a few of the research areas we explore. ​

Obesity prevention

Our research in obesity prevention aims to improve the policy response to obesity and unhealthy diets, and to understand how the development and implementation of these policies can be enhanced.​ Our research focuses on obesity prevention, policy development processes, and mechanisms for increasing the accountability of governments and food companies.

Food environments​

Food environments are dominated by unhealthy foods that are readily available and heavily promoted. These environments are a major driver of unhealthy population diets and high levels of obesity that are among the biggest contributors to poor health. Our research focuses on policies and practices that can lead to healthier food environments​.

Health economics​

In addition to the health impact caused by unhealthy diets and obesity, there is also a significant economic burden that is borne by all members of society, including individuals, businesses and governments. There are many policies, programs and interventions that can be implemented to address unhealthy diets and obesity. Health economics can help inform decision-makers of the health and economic impacts of their choices.​

Corporate determinants of health​

Our research explores the ways that business corporations influence health and equity. It aims to identify potential mechanisms for limiting the negative impacts of corporations on society and the environment. Much of our research in this area is focused on the regulatory systems that foster excessive corporate power.​

Help us to enable healthier environments

We collaborate with a wide range of partners at international, national, regional and local levels. We pride ourselves on establishing and sustaining these relationships so our research is responsive to identified community need and can be translated and implemented to inform policy and health service provision and resource allocation.​

Through the innovative preventive health research that's carried out at GLOBE, we are helping to create environments that empower populations to be healthy.

Professor Gary Sacks

Co-director, Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

Our researchers

Our team of researchers push the science of obesity prevention in population-level research, capacity building and evidence-based public health advocacy across all levels of society in Australia and internationally.  ​

Professor Kathryn Backholer

Associate Professor Kathryn Backholer leads a program of research focused on the social, commercial and cultural determinants of population health. Kathryn's research interests include:

  • food policy (food marketing and fiscal food policies)
  • health equity and the social determinants of population health
  • commercial determinants of health
  • obesity prevention
  • Indigenous health.

Professor Gary Sacks

Associate Professor Gary Sacks conducts research focused on policies for the prevention of obesity and related diseases. He has a broad range of international public health research and policy experience. His research interests include:

  • policies for obesity prevention
  • corporate political activity of the food industry
  • food taxes
  • front-of-pack food labelling
  • economic modelling.

Featured projects

GLOBE is one of the largest research groups in Australia dedicated to obesity prevention research. ​Here are two key research projects.

Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard​

Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard​

Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard gathers the best-available and most up-to-date data to describe the healthiness of Australia’s food environments. The dashboard covers the key aspects of food environments that influence health, including data on food composition, food labelling, food prices and affordability, food promotion, food retail, as well as government and food company policies. This project forms part of the INFORMAS network, active in over 60 countries.​

Corporate determinants of health

Corporate determinants of health

We have a large program of research focused on monitoring the way that corporations impact health and examining ways to counter harmful corporate influences. As one example, the SCANNER project is an artificial intelligence approach to monitoring harmful marketing to children and youth.​

Contact us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest alumni opportunities, research news and much more. Have a question? Get in touch with the team.