This research group is one of the four themes within Early Start, bringing together a cross-disciplinary team from Health and Society and Education. The overall aim of this group is to consolidate excellence in childhood nutrition and physical activity research (in the birth to 10 years age group). Our research focuses on wellness, early intervention, and population-level approaches to healthy eating and movement behaviours.
We want the next generation to live happier healthier lives than us, so we strive to give them the best start in life through the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity.
I'm Dylan Cliff, I'm a senior lecturer in health and physical education.
I co-lead the food and movement research group which is an Early Start research theme.
We're a group of researchers from the schools of Education and Health and Society who are interested in supporting children's health and development.
Our research addresses many issues related to healthy eating and physical activity in children, we also conduct research to inform policies research in this area is important because a growing body of evidence indicates that healthy eating and physical activity influence many aspects of children's health and development.
One of the big issues in our area is the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
Our researchers have partnered with the cancer council to understand how much children are exposed to unhealthy food promotions, and the effect that this type of marketing has on their food preferences and their eating habits.
This research was presented to the senate inquiry on the obesity epidemic in Australia, and contributed to recommendations to restrict the advertising of discretionary foods and drinks on free-to-air television.
Nationally we know that physical inactivity is a major issue facing today's children, our members from the Food and Movement research group conducted evidence reviews to develop national movement behaviour guidelines related to physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep for children. This research is now having an international impact and is informing the World Health Organization's development of international standards, related to movement behaviours for children.
The long-term goal of our research is to have a positive impact on the environments that influence children's health behaviours so that healthy eating and physical activity are the easy choice and the social norm.