Erik Hemmingsson group

Our research focuses on improving our understanding about body weight regulation so that treatment outcomes for obesity can be improved. 

To that end, much of our work is focused on mapping the underlying risk factors for excessive weight gain. Target clinical populations currently include obese adolescents and pregnant women, but we also conduct nation-wide analyses of quality control registers. We use a variety of study designs including cohort studies, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, qualitative studies, and case-control studies.

Keywords: Metabolism, Overweight, Obesity, Risk factors, Treatment, Weight loss, Weight gain


Erik Hemmingsson, Group Leader, PhD

Erik has a PhD in Exercise and Health Sciences from the University of Bristol (2004) and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet (2007). Phone: +46 (0)8-672 4313, Mobile: +46 (0)-736 334398

Signy Reynisdottir, MD, PhD

MD Karolinska Institutet (1988), Specialist in internal medicine (2000). PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet (1995).

Helena Dreber, MD, PhD-student

Helena is a resident physician in family medicine and a PhD-student. Helena's PhD focuses on mental health in obese treatment seeking adolescents. Phone: +46(0)-709796732

Mia Forrest, PhD-student

Mia is a PhD-student in medical anthropology, at the department of social anthropology, Stockholm University. Phone: +46(0)-73 786 22 67

Ann Christensson, BSc, PhD-student

Anne’s PhD concerns Risk factors for excessive gestational weight gain.

Filippa Juul, MSc

Filippa is studying the role of ultra-processed food in obesity causation, as well as nutrition-related adverse events after bariatric surgery.

Katie Trant, MSc-student

Katie’s research focuses on the role of diet soda in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. 


  • Mental health and quality of life in treatment seeking obese adolescents compared with normal weight adolescents  
  • Identification of predictors of gestational weight gain and post-partum weight gain retention: qualitative and quantitative studies 
  • A register-based nation-wide prospective cohort study into the role of a psychosocially insecure childhood in the subsequent development of obesity  
  • Artificial sweeteners as risk factors for type 2 diabetes
  • A register-based nation-wide cohort study on the time trends in intake of ultra-processed junk food in relation to the obesity epidemic in Sweden 
  • Adverse events pertaining to nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery

Selected publications

Who is the Treatment-Seeking Young Adult with Severe Obesity: A Comprehensive Characterization with Emphasis on Mental Health.
Dreber H, Reynisdottir S, Angelin B, Hemmingsson E
PLoS ONE 2015 ;10(12):e0145273.

Trends in intake of ultra-processed food in Sweden during 1960-2010.
Juul F, Hemmingsson E.
Public Health Nutrition (Accepted 2015-01-13).

Effects of childhood abuse on adult obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Hemmingsson E, Johansson K, Reynisdottir S
Obes Rev 2014 Nov;15(11):882-93

A new model of the role of psychological and emotional distress in promoting obesity: conceptual review with implications for treatment and prevention.
Hemmingsson E
Obes Rev 2014 Sep;15(9):769-79

Effects of anti-obesity drugs, diet, and exercise on weight-loss maintenance after a very-low-calorie diet or low-calorie diet: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Johansson K, Neovius M, Hemmingsson E
Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2014 Jan;99(1):14-23

Risk of symptomatic gallstones and cholecystectomy after a very-low-calorie diet or low-calorie diet in a commercial weight loss program: 1-year matched cohort study.
Johansson K, Sundström J, Marcus C, Hemmingsson E, Neovius M
Int J Obes (Lond) 2014 Feb;38(2):279-84