Professor Louise Baur, a specialist in paediatric obesity and pre-diabetes, says as a society we have created a toxic environment for our children where it is really hard for them to be active and difficult for them to make healthy food choices.
She believes by bringing together the big ideas of many different approaches to obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease we can find a solution to a ‘wicked problem’ that has crept up.
“The problem is now at the core of our society. Unhealthy choices are basically default choices for children. This has led to childhood obesity becoming a common and significant disease.”
The Director of the Weight and Management Services at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Baur says we need to develop a coordinated response to the now-common health issues of obesity, cardiac disease and diabetes.
Baur leads the obesity theme at the University of Sydney’s new centre to tackle obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She is also a co-director of the Prevention Research Collaboration based at the University of Sydney.
“My work focuses on obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents – the causes, the consequences, the management and the prevention.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders, including being overweight, and high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes."
Baur was the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Paediatric Obesity, and is a founding director of the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network.