Introduction: Obesity is a serious public health concern in Australia. The aim of this review was to determine the total and proportion of funding allocated by major health and medical research bodies for adult obesity management research from 2009 to 2014.
Methods: Publically available grant outcomes (projects/programs and people support) from the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council were accessed and reviewed for the funding periods 2009-2014. For ARC the search was limited to those grants with Medical and Health Science FOR codes. Searches were conducted based on title and summary (if available) of the successful applications. Key words included: overweight, obese, obesity, weight, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, exercise, food, nutrition and diet. Grants with a primary focus on adults and health conditions directly associated with obesity (e.g. key modifiable risk factor) were included (i.e. CVD, diabetes). Grants related to infants/children/adolescents or animals or that did not clearly stipulate adults were excluded.
Major findings: For NHMRC it was found that 24 projects / development grants and 12 fellowships ($41 179 720) were funded, equating to 1% of total available NHMRC funding. For ARC there was inadequate information for ARC fellowships available to permit classification for this project. For ARC discovery projects with the included FOR codes a total of three projects were identified, accounting for approximately 9% ($760,540) of total available funding that was allocated.
Conclusion: Only a small proportion of federal funds were allocated to obesity research from 2009-2014 despite this major public health concern being specifically aligned to National Research Priorities.