Thursday, March 1, 2012

The SPOTLIGHT project kick off meeting

Today the official start of the Sustainable Prevention of Obesity Through Integrated Strategies (SPOTLIGHT) project officially started with a meeting at the VU University medical center's EMGO+ institute. SPOTLIGHT is a cross European research project funded within the European Commission's 7th Framework program.
The SPOTLIGHT project aims to contribute to fighting the obesity epidemic. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe is high and contribute to mortality and the burden of many chronic diseases, especially within groups of lower social-economic status. Obesity is largely determined by modifiable lifestyle dependent risk factors such as reduced physical activity, sedentary behaviour and an unhealthy diet. There is growing evidence that influences on individuals and their lifestyle should not only be addressed in single-level interventions that focus on a distinct individual, social or environmental aspect, but rather in community based multi-level intervention approaches (MIAs) that integrate individual, community, organisational, and societal systems.
SPOTLIGHT aims to increase and combine knowledge on the wide  ange of determinants of obesity in a systematic way, and to identify MIAs that are strong in terms of Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM). A further aim is to identify factors for successful implementation of MIAs into health promotion practice.
By combining published research and collected cross-European data with expert and target-group perspectives, effective, sustainable and implementable MIAs that counteract obesogenic behaviours in adults will be defined. We will provide an evidence-based model for effective MIAs in health promotion practice applicable across Europe, and disseminate our findings by policy makers and the scientific community. We will develop a handbook with evidence- and practice-based instructions as well as practical recommendations for policies and interventions, suggestions and reference to best practice that serve as a major dissemination tool.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A roadmap to an obesity research agenda for Europe

With the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission in its final stages of development, it is of crucial importance to showcase the most important health issues to the European decision makers and influencers. See for more information regarding Horizon 2020. Obesity is certainly one of them. Obesity is one of the most important determinants of avoidable burden of disease.
Today a meeting organised by the European Association of the Study of Obesity was held in Brussels to communicate and help define the research agenda for the Horizon 2020 era regarding obesity prevention and treatment. A trans disciplinary team of researchers from across Europe with their specialities in for example, animal models, medical treatment of obesity, behavioral sciences, public health et cetera presented and discussed what they believe to be the main priorities for further obesity research in the years to come.