Obesity and insulin resistance in children and adolescents.


Studies on various aspects of obesity and insulin resistance in children and young people – covering management, prevention and pathophysiology. There is potential for a range of different types of study in this broad area – covering management, pathophysiology, measurement of lifestyle behaviours, prevention and population health. Current studies include randomised controlled trials of tertiary level and primary level care interventions, descriptions of obesity as a complication of other chronic health problems, obesity-associated complications (eg obstructive sleep apnoea, pre-diabetes), child protection aspects of severe paediatric obesity, management of severe obesity, measurement of physical activity in young children, studies of food marketing towards children,school-based prevention interventions, and secondary data analysis of existing epidemiological data sets.


Professor Louise Baur, Dr Sarah Garnett, Professor Chris Cowell, Dr Louise Hardy

Research Location

Westmead - Childrens Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

Program Type



There are a range of potential projects that can be discussed with Prof Louise Baur or colleagues. The specific study topic may take some months, or even a year, to refine prior to embarking upon postgraduate research studies.
a) Treatment of paediatric obesity or insulin resistance  Child or adolescent studies. Qualitative or quantitative studies. A range of interventions. Systematic reviews of treatment. Community-based or hospital-based trials. Such studies would suit potential students with a clinical background (eg medical, nursing, dietetic, physiotherapy, exercise science, psychology, social work).
b) Obesity-associated complications These studies may be conducted in association with colleagues at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (Sleep Unit, Endocrinology, Adolescent Medicine etc) or elsewhere. They may include studies on obstructive sleep apnoea, insulin resistance and psychosocial or orthopaedic complications, etc. These studies would suit students either with a clinical background, or with a relevant medical science background.
c) Physical activity in preschool aged children Measurement of physical activity in young children. Epidemiology of physical activity in young children. These studies would be conducted with other colleagues, including Ms Genevieve Dwyer, Lecturer in Physiotherapy at The University of Sydney and Dr Louise Hardy, Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health.
d) Prevention and health promotion aspects of paediatric obesity These studies would largely be conducted with colleagues in the Prevention Research Collaboration at The University of Sydney. Interventions may be school-based. They may include both quantitative and qualitative studies. These studies would suit potential students with a MPH or similar.
e) Modifiable factors influencing obesity and insulin resistance in children and adolescents These studies may overlap with those above and would include colleagues based at the Prevention Research Collaboration or The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. They may include secondary data analysis of existing data sources, or may take advantage of planned epidemiological studies at a regional or state level. These studies would suit potential students with a MPH or similar.

Additional Information

Please note that Prof Baur's research group does not provide PhD scholarships. People interested in undertaking PhD studies must have a competitive academic track record that would allow them to attract their own PhD scholarship (eg through NHMRC or APA, for Australian citizens and permanent residents). International students would need both a scholarship and sufficient funds to pay the fees required by the University of Sydney. In general, students would need either a first class Honours degree in a field of direct relevance to the proposed research, or 2nd class Honours or Masters with relevant research experience and peer-reviewed publications. Students interested in enquiring further should provide a CV detailing their academic track record, research experience and publications

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Obesity, Insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, child, adolescent, paediatric, weight, weight management, diet, physical activity, food, population health, prevention, body composition

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 772