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Whole Systems Approach to Obesity: Four PhD Bursaries Starting April 2016. Whole Systems Approach to Obesity: What is the role of big data?

This project is no longer listed in the FindAPhD
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  • Full or part time
    Dr CG Griffiths
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The harmful effects of obesity are not only experienced by the individuals, through worsened health status, but also financially by society. In the UK obesity-related illnesses costs the NHS an estimated £5.1 billion a year. As a result obesity is a cross government national priority in the UK with a national target to achieve a sustained downtrend trend in the level of excess weight.
Of concern, contemporary obesity prevalence data provides little confidence that national obesity targets can be met using existing approaches. Simply identifying the scale of the problem will only achieve so much and it is important to recognise that current approaches are not making enough impact. Governments have repeatedly attempted to address this issue however, their approaches have been ineffective.

There is now an urgent need to identify evidence-based policy to achieve national targets. The most comprehensive investigation into obesity and its causes described obesity as a complex problem that requires action from individuals and society across multiple sectors and the Obesity System Map was developed. There is now a broad consensus that obesity is the result of a large number of factors, activities and determinants and as a result it is acknowledged that limited or short term solutions will only scratch the surface. There is a call for a coordinated and joined approach from all key stakeholders including local communities, public health, local authorities, the NHS, the voluntary sector and the private sector.

The whole systems approach (WSA) will look across the range of different factors identified in the Foresight systems map and explore greater in-roads to tackling obesity at the local level. This project responds to a call from Public Health England in relation to informing evidenced based policy and explores the role of big data as part of the WSA. Large volumes of new and real time data - ‘big data’ – are rapidly emerging. Many of these data offer novel insight into elements of the Foresight obesity systems map. Tackling obesity is a complex and multifaceted problem with over a hundred contributing factors, identified in the Foresight map. Initially this project will map the big data sources onto the foresight map. There is also a unique to opportunity to gain an insight into the perceptions of big data within LAs and the role of big data at a local level. Big data will underpin the roadmap produced by the wider project team.

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Please contact Dr Claire Griffiths for further details
E-mail: [Email Address Removed]
Tel: +44(0)113 81 26566

Funding Notes

These studentships include tuition fees for 3 years and a bursary of £14,047 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid for a period of three years.

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