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Food Dudes win international acclaim

Dr Pauline Horne and Professor Fergus Lowe of Bangor University have been presented with an award for their pioneering work on childhood obesityProfessor Fergus Lowe and Dr Pauline Horne receiving the SABA Award from their President, Professor Michael DougherDr Pauline Horne and Professor Fergus Lowe of Bangor University have been presented with an award for their pioneering work on childhood obesity in front of an audience of 4,000 academics from many different countries, at a conference held in Seattle recently.

 

At a time when obesity rates around the world are soaring, the Food Dudes Programme developed by Dr Horne and Professor Lowe has won international acclaim for its success in influencing children to eat more fruit and vegetables and less junk food.

 

The Programme's highly innovative approach draws on contemporary psychology and uses a range of media and reward systems to help children and their families learn to enjoy healthy diets.

It has been introduced nationally in Ireland, where more than 300,000 children and their families have already benefited from it and, in the UK, it is currently being rolled out to 100,000 children in the Midlands and other regions. There are also successful projects running in Milan in Italy, and in Utah and California in the USA.

Professor Michael Dougher, President of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Analysis (SABA), when presenting the Society’s Scientific Translation (Technology Transfer) Award said, "The Society is proud to recognise the achievements of the Food Dudes Programme in improving the diets of children internationally. Your Programme is a model for others wishing to impact societally important behaviour."

In reply, Professor Lowe said, "This is recognition of all of those researchers who have worked as part of the Food Dudes team to develop what has become the most effective Programme available to improve children's diets".

The Programme has won recognition from many quarters, including an award from the World Health Organisation, the UK Chief Medical Officer's Gold Medal Award and, now, in Seattle, SABA’s award for Scientific Translation Award.

Prof John G Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University said: “This is a project, initiated at Bangor University, that can make a real impact on the health of people in those societies worldwide that are now faced with such a major obesity challenge. I’m very pleased that the academics involved have received the recognition of their professional peers for their contribution.”

Publication date: 11 June 2012

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