Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tomorrow Peter Kapitein will receive his honorary doctorate

Tonight we had a preparatory dinner organized by the vice chancellor of the VU University Amsterdam to get ready for tomorrow's 'dies natalis', i.e. the university's 132nd birthday. At this celebration event two honorary doctorates will be granted, to Peter Kapitein, the ambassador and one of the founders of the Alpe D'Huzes foundation, and to the world famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
I have the honor to serve as Peter Kapitein's 'honorary promotor'.

Peter Kapitein receives this award in recognition of his exceptional contribution to research into improving the opportunities for ‘living with cancer’. Since its start in 2006, the Alpe D'Huzes foundation has contributed about 100 M€ to the Netherlands Cancer Foundation for cancer research, with a specific focus on research to improve 'living with cancer', i.e. research to support better evidence-based cancer rehabilitation, psychosocial support for cancer patients, et cetera. Additionally Peter Kapitein is a strong advocate and example for 'patient participation in cancer research, treatment and care. Before the Dies celebration a special symposium entitled 'Patients Firts' will be held to present and discuss important developments in cancer research.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Media attention for publication of the design of the SPOTLIGHT project to identify obesogenic environments across Europe

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe is high. It is a major cause of the overall rates of many of the main chronic (or non communicable) diseases in this region and is characterized by an unequal socio-economic distribution within the population. Obesity is largely determined by modifiable lifestyle behaviours such as low physical activity levels, sedentary behaviour and consumption of energy dense diets. It is increasingly being recognised that effective responses must go beyond interventions that only focus on a specific individual, social or environmental level and instead embrace system-based multi-level intervention approaches that address both the individual and environment. The EU-funded project "sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies" (SPOTLIGHT) aims to increase and combine knowledge on the wide range of determinants of obesity in a systematic way, and to identify multi-level intervention approaches that are strong in terms of Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance. A paper describing the design an rationale for SPOTLIGHT was published this week in its definite form in BMC Public Health; this publication is 'highly accessed'. The publication of the paper was picked up by some media, including a coverage by Food Navigator.