Obesity researcher scores national award

Sep 21 2012

A Newcastle researcher using innovative education programs to tackle Australia’s obesity epidemic has won a prestigious 2012 Scopus Young Researcher of the Year Award.

Professor Phil Morgan, the first University of Newcastle researcher to be honoured with a Scopus Award, won the Humanities and Social Science category for his acclaimed work in health education.

The Scopus Awards recognise outstanding young researchers in Australasia who have made significant contributions in their areas of research. Applicants are evaluated by expert panellists from Australiaand New Zealand based on research output, impact, and esteem.

Professor Morgan has developed and tested a host of ‘targeted’ education programs to promote healthy lifestyles in different settings and populations. For example, his programs for men include the Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids (HDHK) program sponsored by Coal & Allied, which targets overweight fathers and their children.

There’s also the Workplace POWER (Preventing Obesity Without Eating like a Rabbit) program targeting overweight shift workers (sponsored by Tomaga Aluminium); and the SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise and Diet Using Information Technology) weight loss program for men.

The award recognises the success of Professor Morgan’s research programs and the positive impact they continue to have on families living in the Hunter and wider communities.

“Early in my research career, I realised the importance of ‘targeting’ and ‘tailoring’ programs to specific sub-groups of the population,” Professor Morgan said.

“My health programs deliver tailored messages for different populations, with education and how the message is delivered to be meaningful as the focus.”
“This major award is great recognition of my  work and its positve impact on the greater community, the University, and all of the funding bodies, sponsors,supporters, co-investigators and students who have supported me.”

Professor Morgan was presented with his award today as part of the Australasian Research Management Society’s 14th annual conference at the Gold Coast.

* Professor Morganis Co-Director of the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle and is a member of HMRI’s Cardiovascular Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New EnglandHealth and the community.