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Systems approaches for physical activity and obesity

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Charles Perkins Centre D17

The University of Sydney, NSW 2006

Australia

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Tackling wicked public health problems

Dr Harry Rutter
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The complex nature of 'wicked’ health problems is an ongoing problem for public health research and policy. Challenges such as obesity and the pandemic of physical inactivity involve multiple factors operating within systems. Traditional approaches that focus on changing individuals are not the most appropriate for tackling these challenges at the population level. We need new methods that look at public health problems as part of a complex system.

The application of complex systems thinking to healthy lifestyles requires mandatory multi-sectoral approaches to address obesity and physical inactivity. In this seminar, Dr Harry Rutter from the UK will present his extensive experience of population obesity surveillance, of developing health economic models to map the benefits of walking and cycling, and, most recently, his work with WHO on applying systems thinking to mapping physical activity at the macro and community levels. He will illustrate the gaps in systems that need to change in order to make a difference.

About Harry Rutter

Dr Harry Rutter is a public health physician and a senior research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, senior strategic adviser on obesity to Public Health England, and an honorary senior academic at the University of Oxford.


He was the founding director of the National Obesity Observatory for England 2007-2011, led the development of the English National Child Measurement Programme (childhood obesity surveillance system), chaired the NICE Programme Development Group (PDG) for guidance on promoting walking and cycling, was a member of the NICE PDG on preventing obesity and the Department of Health Expert Panel on obesity, sat on the management group of the Foresight Obesity project, and has helped to lead the development of the WHO Europe Health Economic Assessment Tool (WHO HEAT). He is currently involved in research assessing the role of social and environmental factors on both obesity and physical activity, and the research and policy implications of intervening in complex systems.

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Auditorium

Charles Perkins Centre D17

The University of Sydney, NSW 2006

Australia

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