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Creating an effective response to obesity: the role of complex systems thinking in intervention design and evaluation

Date: 2 December 2016


This event explored complex systems thinking in the design and evaluation of interventions in looking to support Ireland’s new Obesity Policy and Action Plan. 

This event was facilitated by the HRB Centre for Health and Diet Research at University College Cork and the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH).


The event used 3 case studies as examples to illustrate complex systems issues that should be considered in intervention design and evaluation:

Case Study 1:  Food Choice at Work – a settings-based work place intervention. 

Case Study 2: W82GO – a family-based lifestyle intervention.

Cast Study 3:  Sugar Sweetened Beverage Taxes – interventions at the policy level. 


Dr. Harry Rutter: Obesity, systems and complexity.

Sarah Fitzgerald: Food Choice at Work Study

Janas Harrington: A Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax in a Complex System

Prof. Ivan Perry: Implementing a family focused lifestyle programme for treating childhood

A briefing paper will soon be made available following a review of feedback from the event.

For further information or to be kept informed of this work, please email


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