The overall aim of our Centre is to contribute to the evidence base for public policy, health promotion and clinical practice on the prevention and management of obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders. The Centre was established in 2008, with funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF) in Ireland. The work of the Centre is coordinated by the Principal Investigator, Professor Ivan Perry, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork. The Centre involves co-Principal Investigators from University College Cork, University College Dublin, the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Teagasc, and University of Ulster. We are actively engaged in collaborative research activities relating to health and diet, in particular the prevention and management of obesity and diabetes.
The purpose of the Centre is to inform public policy, health promotion, clinical practice and the citizen. The long term goal is to develop a cohesive and sustainable National Centre for Health and Diet research linking with national and international centres of excellence and supporting policy and practice in Health. Obesity a significant global health burden. In Europe alone, costs associated with obesity are approaching 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in some countries in the WHO European Region. Obesity in adults accounts for up to 6% of direct health costs in the EU. Additional indirect costs, due to premature loss of life, productivity and related income, are at least twice the direct costs. Understanding the obesity problem is critical, and forms part of the remit of the HRB Centre for Health and Diet Research, involving experts from a wide range of disciplines including epidemiology, public health, obstetrics, clinical weight management, consumer science, behavioural science, and food business. The Centre has established national and North/South collaborations with: TEAGASC, Ashtown Food Research Centre; Trinity College Dublin; Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at the University of Ulster; Safefood; HSE, Population Health Directorate; GP NOW, GP National Organisation for weight management; the Living Health Centre Cork; and RedBranch (Childhood obesity NGO). Other collaborators include the University of Leeds UK, the University of Queensland Australia, the Institute of Public Health Cambridge UK, Queens University Belfast, and both Yale and Harvard in the U.S.