ARC grant targets socio-economic inequalities in obesity
Health researchers, including Dr Alison Beauchamp from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, have been awarded an ARC Linkage Grant to determine the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies for lower socio-economic groups.
The researchers are concerned that obesity is growing faster in lower socio-economic groups, and that current prevention and management policies may be less effective in these groups than other parts of society. The team is headed by Dr Anna Peeters and includes VicHealth, the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Deakin University, Baker IDI and Cancer Council Victoria. It has been awarded $223,161 to conduct the three-year project.
The researchers will analyse large existing datasets to examine trends in obesity over a 15 to 20 year period.
“If we can determine that people from lower socio-economic groups did become obese faster than the rest of the population, we can predict what may happen in the future,” Dr Beauchamp explained.
They will also review health literature and government policies to identify the most effective strategies to lower the rates of obesity, particularly for those with lower incomes or education levels.
“The aim is to decrease the difference in obesity prevalence between different social groups,” she said.
Dr Beauchamp conducted her PhD with similar research into health inequalities in cardiovascular disease.