About Professor Louise Baur
I am passionate about understanding and tackling the causes and complications of overweight, poor nutrition and physical inactivity in children and young people.
Professor Louise Baur is a paediatrician and an internationally renowned childhood obesity researcher. She has a special interest in the prevention and management of child and adolescent obesity and has for over 20 years also studied various aspects of adult obesity. Professor Baur has been instrumental in raising the profile of childhood obesity as an issue of clinical and public health importance, in Australia and internationally. Her body of research has helped define management efforts around childhood obesity and improved our understanding of the factors that help prevent obesity in the first few years of life. Her work also has helped define predictors of obesity and the metabolic syndrome in young people, and the complications of obesity.
Professor Baur is a founder of ACAORN (Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network) and is an active member of The Prevention Research Collaboration, a specialised research group within the Sydney School of Public Health. Professor Baur engages widely with professional organisations and the community. She is a member of the WHO Ad Hoc Working Group on Science and Evidence for Ending Childhood Obesity and Associate Director of the University of Sydney's WHO Collaborating Centre in Physical Activity, Nutrition & Obesity. She is a Founding Fellow and Council Member of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences (launched in March 2015). She is a Director of World Vision Australia and a member of the Governing Board of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network. She has received numerous awards recognising her many contributions. In 2010 Professor Baur was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for service to medicine, particularly in the field of paediatric obesity as a researcher and academic, and to the community through support for a range of children's charities'.
Professor Baur's research interests cover numerous aspects of obesity, prediabetes, nutrition and physical activity in children and adolescents. She has extensive experience in collaborative clinical studies dealing with obesity and insulin resistance in families and young people and in public health interventions involving new mothers, children, young people and families. Her research explores strategies for (a) the management of childhood obesity and (b) the prevention of obesity during childhood and adolescence. She is involved in a broad range of clinical trials and population health studies in Australia and internationally. These include:
- The Centre for Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood
- The effective management of child and adolescent obesity and insulin resistance, including several community-based RCTs (PEACH, HIKCUPS, Loozit) and hospital-based trials (RESIST and the metformin trial).
- Mechanisms and management of obesity-associated complications, including prediabetes, orthopaedic abnormalities and obstructive sleep apnoea.
- The determinants of obesity, including the longitudinal Nepean Study of adolescents in western Sydney.
- The study of obesity in special patient groups e.g. patients with acquired brain injury or developmental disability.
- Population-based approaches to obesity prevention, including early intervention with first-time mothers (Healthy Beginnings Trial; EPOCH collaboration); junior sports sponsorship; changes to marketing of foods; etc.
- Health service delivery aspects of child and adolescent obesity.
- Measurement of physical activity and dietary intake in children.