Swansea University contributes to research to tackle obesity

A recent study revealed that the world’s obese population has hit 640 million which means that more than one in ten men and one in seven women across the globe are now obese.

The research led by Imperial College and published in the Lancet, was co-authored by Professor Gareth Stratton, Head of the Research Centre in Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) in the College of Engineering at Swansea University.

Gareth Stratton

Relating the findings from the global study to the situation in Wales Professor Stratton said:  

“The most recent Welsh Health survey has revealed that 58% of adults were overweight about a 5th of young adults, a quarter of middle age adults and a fifth of older adults are obese in Wales. Two million people in wales are simply not active enough to benefit their health. We have to find ways of dealing with this global problem which is down to overeating, alcohol and a lack of exercise. That is why Swansea University is currently involved in research projects across the Colleges of Science, Health, Engineering and the Medical School to try and tackle this issue.”

The University is also one of 15 partners taking part in a world wide 9million Euro diabetes prevention project called PREVIEW  - a large multi-national diabetes prevention project funded under European Union 7th Framework Programme. The project started in January 2013 and will run for 5 years.

Swansea University not only acts as the lead for physical activity and fitness prescription and measurement in the PREVIEW project but also as an intervention centre for participating children. Professors Stratton, Dr McNarry, Mackintosh and Minou (College of Engineering) work alongside Professors Brophy, Stephens, Luzio and Evans (College of Medicine) and in combination offer a wealth of expertise to the project that will report its findings in 2018.

The PREVIEW project is an excellent example of where collaboration between the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering integrate their expertise in a world-class research project that has the potential for future local and global impact on diabetes.

  • The Research Centre for Sport, Technology and Exercise and Medicine at Swansea University is unique in the UK as it is situated within the College of Engineering where research opportunities in medical engineering, sport and health and electronics and nano-health are exploited.
  • The Applied Sport Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre also runs a large project with primary schools in Swansea. Swan-Linx will have recruited 3000 participants by the end of 2016 and has found high levels of unhealthy weight and low levels of fitness in children in the area. Further work by Dr McNarry has also found that obesity and asthma contribute to low levels of fitness resulting in an asthma UK funded X4A trial to improve exercise for children with asthma in the area.
  • Swansea University has run a number of RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) in diabetes and in children and exercise and has close working links with clinical and health promotion groups.

 For details of the latest Welsh Health Survey go to http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/welsh-health-survey/?lang=en

" Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19·2 million participants" is published in The Lancet. Link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30054-X/fulltext..

 For more information about the Swansea University College of Engineering Research Centre in Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/sports-science/research/ 

For more information on the Centre for Children and Young People’s Health, College of Human and Health Sciences go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/research/centres-and-groups/centre-for-children-and-young-people/ .

For more information about Diabetes Research at the Medical School go to: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/medicine/research/a-zofresearchgroups/diabetesresearchinswansea/ 

For more information about the Clinical Trials Unit at the Medical School go to   http://www.swansea.ac.uk/medicine/research/researchfacilities/jointclinicalresearchfacility/clinicaltrialsunit/