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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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Obesity

Obesity is a growing health problem in the UK. Childhood obesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing a number of chronic diseases in adulthood, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Understanding why children and adults become obese is key to finding ways to decrease these levels of obesity, which will help to improve public health and alleviate the strain that is being put on health services.

Our researchers are approaching childhood obesity from a number of different angles. Using a life course approach we have gained a better understanding of how obesity in childhood is linked to health problems later in life and how our growth and development during childhood influences the chance of becoming obese or overweight at adolescents as adults.

We are investigating not only how environment, culture and socio-economic status influence the weight of our children, but how factors, such as the health of the mother or how an infant is fed and the rate at which they grow, play a role in their risk of becoming obese.

We are conducting research into the effectiveness of interventions to prevent and management overweight and obesity. Significant research is also being carried out on physical activity, not only in childhood, but throughout our lives, and how that influences our weight and our health.

Our Research