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Researchers to explore the health of 30,000 children

Researchers will follow the health journeys of 30,000 schoolchildren in what has been described as the ‘most important health study in a generation.’

The Age of Wonder project will work alongside young people in Bradford aged 12-19 to explore wide-ranging topics, such as physical and mental wellbeing and health and social inequalities. 

It will collect measurements and biological samples from students in year 9 to give an insight into the physical health of young people in the district and shape service improvements to tackle systemic health issues such as diabetes and obesity. 

The researchers will also collaborate with almost 40 schools to embed the research into the curriculum and to inspire more young people into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. 

The project will last seven years and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. 

two women lying on hammock

It will expand on the work of the successful Born in Bradford (BiB) programme – which launched in 2007 and is now one of the biggest health research studies in the world, with more than 13,000 children already taking part.

Professor Kate Pickett from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York said: ‘Young people today face all of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic on top of all the usual challenges of adolescence and the transition to adulthood, and they are growing up in a fast-changing economic, social and environmental context. It’s exciting to be able to navigate that journey with them, to better understand their lifelong health and wellbeing.’

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School, added: ‘We understand the impact mental ill health can have on individuals, and through our work are committed to raising awareness, increasing understanding and developing interventions which really make a difference for people in our region and beyond.

‘Born in Bradford’ is already a fantastic resource and platform for world-leading research into health and disease, and we are delighted to be contributing to this next stage through the Age of Wonder project. I congratulate the team on bringing this major investment to Yorkshire.’

 

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