The University of Newcastle, Australia

UON obesity researcher joins young leaders in Japan

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A University of Newcastle behavioural scientist, who has been investigating ways to address childhood obesity rates in Australia, was one of only five Australians selected to attend a Young Leaders Forum in Japan this week.

Rebecca WyseNominated by the Australian Research Council (ARC), Dr Rebecca Wyse, attended the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Young Leaders Forum in Kyoto, Japan.

The event, the largest science and technology conference in the world, brought together opinion leaders from nearly 100 countries and regions, to highlight young, future leaders who are already prominent in their field of science, the humanities, the arts, engineering, industry or policy making.

"I felt really honoured to represent the University of Newcastle and the ARC at this prestigious event," Dr Wyse said.

"One of the fantastic things about a conference like this is the cross-pollination of ideas that occur. I was inspired by learning about different fields of research, industry, settings and methodologies, and finding out about the latest innovations in science and technology, that I can potentially apply in my research."

Dr Wyse, who works in collaboration with the HMRI Public Health Program, is dedicated to reversing increasing rates of childhood obesity by designing, implementing and evaluating healthy eating interventions for children and their families.

"In recent years, my research has been based in the settings where a large number of children spend a large amount of their time, for example childcare services and schools," she said.

"Increasingly though, I'm looking to incorporate healthy eating interventions into the technological systems that we interact with on a daily basis, for example, smartphone applications.

"My applied research is driven by what will work in the real world, and I am looking to develop interventions that can be delivered on a wide scale, are cost-effective and ultimately able to influence health outcomes at a population level."

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

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