Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson presented at the 2023 Asia-Oceania Conference on Obesity (AOCO) earlier this month about her research project to help improve healthy food retail in healthcare settings in Queensland.
She was to invited address the conference as part of the ‘Rising Star Symposium’ for outstanding early-mid career researchers in the Asia-Oceania region working in the field of obesity research. Tara was nominated by the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society as their leading candidate under 35 years of age, recognising her significant contributions to healthy food retail research.
Her presentation focused on a pilot randomised control trial testing the impact of co-created implementation tools developed as part of a project funded by the Prevention Centre under our 2022 Rapid Response program. This strategic grant program was designed to support mid-career researchers to progress applied research into the prevention of chronic disease.
The Co-designed Retail Tools for healthier food Environments (CREATE) intervention is a partnership between Health & Wellbeing Queensland and the Nourish Network. It co-created a suite of tools to support retailers and health promotion practitioners to improve the healthiness of food retail environments in healthcare settings such as hospital cafeterias at scale.
The Prevention Centre’s Rapid Response funding was the first large grant I have received and it provided important opportunities for me to lead a team of early career researchers and help them take ownership of individual project components.Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson
She told the conference that while improving the implementation capacity of retailers and health promotion practitioners has the potential to shift food retail environments, there are few trials in existence to test these. Her outstanding work in this field hopes to change this.