Dr Margarita Tsiros
University of South Australia
Margarita’s research provides a platform for innovative approaches to explore the impact of obesity on physical functioning, disability and well-being in children, and identify potential targets for interventions to improve day-to-day physical functioning. Her comparisons of obese and healthy-weight children from around Australia show that obese children have lower physical well-being and found everyday tasks like walking, and climbing stairs more difficult. They were less active, had lower strength and fitness and more pain, which further hindered their physical well-being. To offset the negative consequences of obesity, children must be encouraged to increase their activity, strength and fitness in a way that does not aggravate the higher levels of pain already experienced by obese children.
Dr Tsiros has developed a multifaceted strategy to engage the community, working with children/youth directly, along with those in their immediate environments (e.g. families, schools, community groups), while also targeting the broader community/societal level. She has run interactive healthy-lifestyle workshops for primary and high school students and staff (~150, plus staff), as well as sharing her science career. Margarita has also run interactive research stands at Westfield Marion and embraces opportunities to educate clinicians in the New Science Seminar Series at Princess Margaret Hospital.