Saturday, February 2, 2013

How important is the weather for children's physical activity?

Biking, walking and playing outside is more fun when the sun is out, and it is not too cold? We just published a study, with Mine Yildirim as first author, looking at just that. We used data from our cross-European ENERGY study among 10-12 year olds. We looked at associations between objective data on physical activity and sedentary time -obtained with accelerometers-, with additional data on rainfall and temperature on the exact days in the countries the kids wore their accelerometers. Our results indeed showed that kids moved more with higher temperatures and moved more and sat less with less rainfall.

VUmc research directors visit Brussels

The past two days, a delegation of the research institutes of the Human Health and Life Sciences theme of the VU university and the VU university medical center visit Brussels. We are here to better learn about Horizon2020, i.e. the new research and innovation programmof the European Commission that will be launched in 2014, to get to know the institutions, people and processes who/that are of influence in defining the research agenda and programs, and to present what we have to offer to this agenda. Our research institutes focus on oncology, neurology, cardiovascular disease and public health, and are thus closely linked to the European health research agenda.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Childhood obesity conference

Today the Dutch childhood obesity conference was held. This one day conference aims to inform professional in the field of prevention, treatment and care regarding childhood obesity about evidence based practice and new developments and insights in the field. I was invited to deliver a keynote lecture on prevention of overweight and obesity. In my talk I argued (again) that for effective prevention of childhood overweight and obesity a health protection approach -aiming to create and establish a more 'obesopreventive' instead of the present day 'obesogenic'  environment- is needed on top of a health promotion approach leaning heavily on health education and personal responsibility. Overweight and obesity are societal problems and society -at all levels from authorities, the private sector to families and individuals need to take joint responsibility.