The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders

Boden staff

About the Boden Institute

The Boden Institute is a world-leader in research related to obesity, diabetes, nutrition, exercise and eating disorders, with a strong focus on translating research from clinical trials into practice in complex health systems.


The Boden Institute strives to transform care for obesity and eating disorders, expand the understanding of nutrition and exercise in public health and alleviate chronic disease through research, prevention, clinical care, education and policy change.


To reduce the individual and societal impact of obesity, eating disorders and related lifestyle chronic diseases.

Our Research

The Boden Institute is directed by Professor Ian Caterson, who heads up a team of internationally renowned experts including Professors Stephen Colagiuri, Jennie Brand-Miller, Maria Fiatarone
Singh, Tim Gill, Stephen Touyz and Janice Russell; Associate Professors Amanda Salis, Michael Skilton and Tania Markovic; and Dr Sarah Maguire.

The Boden Institute takes a broad approach to combating and preventing obesity and lifestyle-related chronic disease. Its researchers have expertise across the whole human life-cycle from pre-gestation to old age, and collectively have the broadest approach and expertise for combating and preventing eating disorders, obesity and lifestyle-related chronic disease assembled in Australia – from specialised clinics to public health systems.

Over the past five years we have had good success in securing NHMRC and other funding, by winning 57 new research grants worth over $29M and 13 new industry / pharmaceutical clinical trials worth over $3M. We have published in the highest quality places and succeeded in publishing 434 journal articles, reviews and book chapters during the period. Our academic staff are renowned for their knowledge and we contribute to knowledge sharing and research excellence at an international level.

For a relatively small research group we have won a number of significant awards and prizes. For example, Professor Ian Caterson was awarded the 2015 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Foundation Medal and became President of the World Obesity Federation, and Professor Stephen Colagiuri was awarded the inaugural Diabetes Australia Outstanding Achievement Award for Diabetes Research in 2014 and the Australian Diabetes Society Kellion Award in 2015.

Our unique contributions to research and translation to health systems and practice include:

  • Leading the world in development and delivery of e-therapies for eating disorders, and directing world-wide large-scale innovative studies in diabetes prevention
  • Leading the world in the translation of evidence based packages for eating disorders into online therapy programs made widely available to those not receiving services
  • Pioneering a number of novel methodologies such as the use of comprehensive phenotyping techniques in lifespan cardiovascular health studies in healthy and unwell infants and children
  • Applying standard methodologies to new research areas, such as endometrial cancer and body weight regulation, and using new techniques in ‘big data’ to gain further insights at a population level into existing research areas including obesity and cancer
  • As specialists in all aspects of obesity and diabetes prevention, lending our expertise to support other researchers and clinicians working in these and related fields
  • Providing the evidence on which the Australian Department of Health’s Healthy Weight Guide
    was based
  • Documenting the extent, characteristics and impact of online food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents for the first time
  • Determining long-term effects of fast versus slow weight loss on body composition and eating behaviours in different populations (e.g. in older adults or people with binge eating disorders),
    thereby improving the evidence base for choice of different obesity treatment options
  • Developing an eating disorders Online Learning Program for Health Professionals, providing core competency training in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management
  • Demonstrating lack of adverse effects of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes, thereby contributing to changes in international nutrition
  • Analysing the cost effectiveness of primary care referral to a commercial provider for weight loss treatment, relative to standard care, thus enabling decisions about optimal ways to treat obesity in the community
  • Assessing the application of novel treatments for mental illness, like Oxytocin, to current eating disorder patient cohorts in hospitals in NSW

We have developed our people with early career support and skill-building sessions, provided primary supervision for 23 higher degree research students during the period, and our clinical trials expanded to such a degree that we had over 15,000 participant visits.

Professor Ian Caterson is the new President of the World Obesity Federation 2016 - 2018

Professor Ian Caterson AM is the President of the World Obesity Federation for 2016-2018. This follows his two-year term as President-Elect from 2014-2016.

Ian is the Director of the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition Exercise & Eating Disorders and the Boden Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney. He is a recognised expert on obesity, its causes, prevention and management. Congratulations to Ian for this significant honour.

The World Obesity Federation represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from over 50 regional and national obesity associations. Through their membership they create a global community of organisations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity. For more information, please go to their website