Global health

Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

As a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, our work supports the efforts of WHO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other international organisations to promote global health and sustainable development in low and middle-income countries in Asia, the Western Pacific region and globally.

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention was established at Deakin University in 2003 to provide expert advice to WHO on developing, advocating for, implementing, and evaluating system-based strategies for complex problems like obesity through policies that promote healthy food environments.

Since then, we have extended our focus towards other complex issues facing the global community, including the double-burden of malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and the need to promote both health and sustainability dimensions of food systems. We examine these complex problems from all angles, drawing on our expertise in systems science, policy effectiveness, economics, and implementation research.

At GLOBE, we focus on building close relationships with policy makers and practitioners to ensure we are responding to real-world food and nutrition policy challenges in a timely manner. Our knowledge translational tools have been used to influence food and nutrition policy across the world.

  • Scaling Up food-related policies in the Pacific Islands to reduce NCDs

    The overall goal of this 5-year project is to take a comprehensive, empirical approach to understanding and strengthening the policy-making process, with an emphasis on implementing, at scale, best possible policy to improve the food environment in the Pacific.

    The project has identified a range of interventions that are the most feasible and effective in reducing excessive consumption of salt and sugar in the Pacific, and what factors lead to effective implementation.

  • Reshaping retail food environment in the East-Asia and Pacific region

    This 3-year project is a partnership between UNICEF and Deakin University aiming to support improvements in the healthiness of urban retail food stores in China, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

    Based on a proposed research agenda for promoting healthy retail food stores in the region, this project aims to:

    • investigate the food retail landscape in the 4 key countries, and how people interact with food outlets
    • foster a network of partners in each country with a common interest in developing healthier food outlets
    • work with food retailers to test interventions designed to encourage healthier retail environments
    • advocate for policies encouraging healthy food outlets.
  • Policy engagement and support

    Our partnership with WHO has meant that we provide technical support to several WHO country offices. Examples of our work to inform real-world policy have included:

    • analysis of the effectiveness of food taxes on dietary intakes in four Pacific Islands (2021–22)
    • evaluation of Brunei Darrusalam’s National Multisectoral NCD Strategy (2019–20)
    • support to the advocacy and establishment of a SSB tax in the Solomon Islands (2018–19).