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Whole systems approach to addressing obesity on the island of Ireland

Whole systems approach to addressing obesity on the island of Ireland

This webinar explores the key concepts of the whole systems approach to addressing obesity.

Catch up: Watch the Webinar


00:00 Seamus Mullen, Public Health Agency
Welcome address    

04:16 Dr Mirjam Heinen, University College Dublin
Launch of ‘Whole systems approaches to childhood obesity: A review of the evidence’

Professor Harry Rutter, University of Bath
Obesity: a complex systems problem
A PDF of this presentation can be requested by emailing [email protected]

11:33 Greg Straton, Department of Health, Ireland
Introduction to Sl√°intecare Healthy Communities programme

30:37 David Tumilty, Public Health Agency
Exploring a whole system approach to obesity prevention in the context of Northern Ireland

51:25 Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva (chair), safefood
Q&A Session 

1:09:00 Ursula O’Dwyer, Department of Health, Ireland
Closing remarks    

Speakers' Biographies

Dr Mirjam Heinen, University College Dublin 

Dr Mirjam Heinen has a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics, an MSc in Nutrition and Health, and a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology, all from the Netherlands. For almost a decade, she has worked on the topic of childhood obesity, including being one of the lead investigators of the Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in Ireland. In addition, she has worked as an assistant professor at University College Dublin from 2016-2020, where she mainly taught on the Master of Public Health programme on the topics of Health Promotion and Social Epidemiology. Further topics she taught on were nutrition, including public healthy nutrition, epidemiology, and basic statistics. She is currently connected to University College Dublin as an adjunct researcher and working on the topics of obesity and school nutrition.

Professor Harry Rutter, University of Bath 

Harry Rutter is professor of global public health at the University of Bath. He was the founder director of the English National Obesity Observatory; led the development of the English National Child Measurement Programme; chaired the UK NICE group on guidance on walking and cycling; and was a member of the 2020 NHS England net zero carbon expert panel.

Harry attends SAGE Covid, and co-chairs the SAGE Covid Environmental and Modelling Group. He is co-chair of the Lancet-Chatham House Commission on population health post COVID-19; and is an adviser to both WHO Euro and headquarters on topics including transport, physical activity, obesity, environment and health. His research is focused on effective, sustainable and equitable mechanisms for improving the research, policy and practice responses to complex systems problems in public health, with a particular focus on transport, built environment, obesity, physical activity, and both communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

Greg Straton, Department of Health, Ireland

Greg Straton is an Assistant Principal Officer in the Health and Wellbeing Unit of the Department of Health.  Before joining the Civil Service, he was the CEO of Treoir and previously the CEO of the Spiritan Asylum Services Initiative (SPIRASI).  He was a member of the Working Group to review the Protection Process for asylum seekers which formulated the McMahon report.  He holds an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and an Honours Degree in Public and Development Management from the University of Stellenbosch.

David Tumilty, Public Health Agency 

David Tumilty qualified in 2004 with a MSc in Health Promotion and is currently employed by the Public Health Agency (PHA) as a Health Improvement Manager with joint regional responsibility across Northern Ireland for Obesity Prevention. David’s experience spans 18 years across various topics and settings, developing and coordinating health improvement initiatives around physical activity, obesity prevention, tobacco control, mental health promotion and suicide prevention in both the community sector and across the statutory sector with the EHSSB, SEHSCT & PHA.

David has worked towards improving health and reducing inequalities throughout his working career and will present on the overarching goals of the PHAs obesity prevention work.  Structures and systems to prevent obesity will be the main focus of the presentation, and it is hoped the session will generate discussion around a very important area of work.

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