The University of Newcastle, Australia

Childhood obesity research accolade

Monday, 29 September 2014

Research into childhood obesity in developing Asian countries has earned UON researcher, Wai Yew Yang, a prestigious 2014 Nestle Nutrition Institute Young Researcher Award.

Nutrition

The awards are presented to young researchers (under the age of 40) who are working in the field of maternal and paediatric health and nutrition in Malaysia.

Ms Yang, based in Kuala Lumpur, said she was delighted to receive the honour and was further motivated to contribute to nutrition and diabetes research, specifically in the area of maternal and child health.

"It has been a challenging road so far, so the award is a true blessing and recognition of my PhD work. I am very thankful to my team of supervisors at UON and International Medical University, Malaysia for their continuous support and encouragement," she said.

Ms Yang's PhD research focuses on finding the causative factors of childhood obesity, and formulating effective interventions.

"Malaysia, like other Asian developing countries, is currently experiencing an escalation in the prevalence of childhood obesity, due to the nutrition and lifestyle transition associated with rapid economic development and urbanisation," she said.

"The magnitude of childhood obesity in this country is large, yet to date, answers are scarce. The role of high-quality research in this is crucial, considering there are many gaps identified in research literature and practice settings.

"Results from my research will greatly benefit families and Malaysian communities by creating awareness and implementing targeted programs to combat one of Malaysia's major healthcare issues."

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