Dr Kathryn Backholer

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Dr Kathryn Backholer
Dr Kathryn Backholer

Kathryn Backholer hopes her research will translate to improved health outcomes for all Australians, regardless of their socioeconomic position. 

My work aims to improve heart disease, at the population level, in an equitable manner, so that preventive strategies reach those most in need. 

I’m seeking to describe and understand socioeconomic inequalities in health and the role that public health policy can play in reducing these conditions equitably. 

The ultimate goal is the equitable reduction of cardiometabolic disease (obesity, diabetes and heart disease). I hope this will aid the prioritisation and implementation of public health policies that improve the health of all Australians.

One of the key recommendations from our research has been that interventions to reduce weight at the population level must be evaluated for their impact on socioeconomic inequalities in health. Our work demonstrated that, internationally, this is rarely done. We communicated the importance of this to current government, which have now included equity as a top priority in their evaluations of a number of Victorian community public health interventions. 

Funding from the Heart Foundation has allowed me to carry out my research and establish collaborations with key international leaders in the field of health equity and heart disease, obesity and diabetes. These help me to answer my research questions in the most appropriate, comprehensive and robust manner, while ensuring strong collaborative links for research translation and knowledge exchange.