Project: Growing up healthy: Obesity prevention tailored to critical transition periods in the early life-course

Acronym GrowH!
Duration 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2024
Project Topic Obesity prevention programmes often have had only limited or short-term effects. In particular socially vulnerable groups, who are affected most, have not been reached successfully. If the known modifiable risk factors were effectively changed in a favourable direction and if this was achieved in the early life course and in the most affected population sub-groups, the burden of obesity and its related cardio-metabolic disorders could be reduced immensely. GrowH! will take advantage of the most recent longitudinal research results on risk factors and novel participatory intervention approaches in youth to develop and test better targeted and more effective primary prevention strategies. To this aim, GrowH! will address three research questions: (1) What is the – possibly agedependent – impact of known modifiable risk factors at critical transition periods during the early life-course and which hypothetical interventions would result in the strongest reduction of overweight, obesity and their sequelae later in life? (2) Can two different novel participatory intervention approaches that have shown first promising effects be successfully transferred to socially disadvantaged populations in Spain and Germany and can these then be scaled-up sustainably by operational stakeholders? (3) What are the structural and regulatory requirements and conditions for the implementation and up-scaling of the developed intervention approaches onto a regional, national or international level from a whole systems perspective? The answers to these questions will feed into a policy guidance that will be worked out and disseminated for wider use and sustainability of the available evidence in a European context together with public health societies and the WHO.

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS Coordinator Germany
2 University of Zaragoza Partner Spain
3 Ghent University Partner Belgium
4 VU University Medical Center (VUMC) Partner Netherlands
5 Amsterdam University Medical Center (AMC) Partner Netherlands
6 State Association for Health and Academy for Social Medicine Lower Saxony with State Association for Health Bremen Partner Germany
7 Sciensano (Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health) Observer Belgium
8 University of Guelph Observer Canada