Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Determinants of diet and physical activity: a summary of findings

The establishment of the Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity (DEDIPAC) Knowledge Hub, 2013–2016, was the first action taken by the ‘Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’ European Joint Programming Initiative (HDHL). DEDIPAC aimed to provide better insight into the determinants of diet, physical activity and sedentary behavior across the life course, i.e. insight into the causes of the causes of important, non-communicable diseases across Europe and beyond. DEDIPAC was launched in late 2013, and delivered its final report in December 2016. In a paper just published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity -the same journal in which we presented the DEDIPAC plans a few year earlier-, we give an overview of what was achieved in terms of furthering measurement and monitoring, providing overviews of the state-of-the-art in the field, and building toolboxes for further research and practice. Additionally, we propose some of the next steps that are now required to move forward in this field, arguing in favor of 1) sustaining the Knowledge Hub and developing it into a European virtual research institute and knowledge centre for determinants of behavioural nutrition and physical activity with close links to other parts of the world; 2) establishing a cohort study of families across all regions of Europe focusing specifically on the individual and contextual determinants of major, non-communicable disease; and 3) furthering DEDIPAC’s work on nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior policy evaluation and benchmarking across Europe by aligning with other international initiatives and by supporting harmonization of pan-European surveillance. This last recommendation is now being followed up by the HDHL Policy Evaluation Network (PEN).