I am Associate Professor in Pediatric Science at Karolinska Institutet. My research aims to identify the most important familial and sociocultural drivers of obesity early in life, to investigate how lifestyle patterns develop across generations, and to develop effective treatment programs. Other interests include psychosocial development in childhood and psychometrics, especially development and validation of questionnaires related to eating behavior and feeding practices.
Childhood obesity has been in focus for my doctoral thesis (2009, Lund University) and postdoctoral research (2009-2014, Yale University, University of Oregon and University of Oxford). My national and international assignments include positions as Scientific Secretary for the Swedish Association for the Study of Obesity (SFO) 2013-2015 and membership in the Childhood Obesity Taskforce (COTF) of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), 2007- 2016. Since 2013, I am a treasurer of the European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG). 2015 I organized the European Childhood Obesity Congress that took place in Stockholm. Currently, I am member of the Expert Group in Nutrition and Public Health of the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket).
I teach and supervise students on postdoctoral, doctoral, master and bachelor level, at Karolinska Insitutet and at Uppsala University. Since August 2015 I am Associate Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
2011-2014 Postdoctoral fellow, Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
2010-2011 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA
2009-2010 Postdoctoral fellow, Yale Pediatric Obesity Research, Yale University, USA
2005-2009 PhD, Pediatrics, Lund University, Sweden. Thesis title: Childhood and adolescent obesity: Multidisciplinary approaches in a clinical setting. Thesis advisors: Tomas Sveger, MD, PhD Carl-Erik Flodmark, MD, PhD. Defended 13 March 2009.
2000-2004 M.S., Psychology, Lund University, Sweden
1997-2000 B.S., Clinical Nutrition, Gothenburg University, Sweden
My research group at Karolinska Institutet examines determinants and consequences of obesity in preschool age. I am also interested in scale development, psychometrics and survey design.
One of the main projects is a randomized controlled trial, the More and Less Study, testing different treatment options for preschoolers with obesity. For comprehensive description of the More and Less Study, see Ek A et al, BMC Public Health 2015.
My research group is funded by Swedish Research Council, Swedish Medical Society and other funding bodies (for complete list see my CV).
Academic honors, awards and prizes
2015-2016 Member of the International Scientific Committee of the European Congress on Obesity 2016
From 2016 Member of the Expert Group in Nutrition and Public Health, National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket).
From 2014 Treasurer, European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG)
2013-2015 Scientific secretary of the Swedish Association for the Study of Obesity (SFO)
2010-2012 Member of the International Scientific Committee of the European Congress on Obesity 2012
2007-2016 Invited founding fellow and executive board member of Childhood Obesity Task Force for the European Association for Study on Obesity (EASO)
From 2006 Member of Swedish Association for the Study of Obesity (SFO)
2004-2008 Chairman of the organising committee, Scandinavian Pediatric Obesity Conference
2003-2004 Chairman of the Swedish Dietitians Expert Group for Childhood Obesity
From 2004 Adhoc reviewer for the following journals, International Journal of Pediatrics/Pediatric Obesity, Obesity Facts, Appetite, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
2003 2nd place, the national competition for the best master thesis in Sport Psychology
2003 1st place, the best master thesis in Sports Sciences at Lund University
1999 Member of the organizing committee, 9th European Childhood Obesity Group
Invited Speaker or Chair at Scientific International Meetings:
2016 26th European Childhood Obesity Congress, Thessaloniki, Greece
2016 23rd European Congress on Obesity & 1st European Obesity Summit, Gothenburg, Sweden
2015 22nd European Congress on Obesity, Prague, Chech Republic
2014 21th European Congress on Obesity, Sofia, Bulgaria
2014 Helsesøsterkongress 2014, Stavanger, Norway
2014 Association of the Study of Obesity on Ireland (ASOI) meeting, Belfast, Irland
2013 Excellence in Pediatrics Congress, Doha, Qatar
2013 International congress on obesity, Kuwait City, Kuwait
2013 20th European Congress on Obesity, Liverpool, United Kingdom
2012 19th European Congress on Obesity, Lyon, France
2011 18th European Congress on Obesity, Istanbul, Turkey
2010 4th Scandinavian Pediatric Obesity Conference, Stockholm
2009 19th Meeting of European Childhood Obesity Group, Dublin, Ireland
2009 Finnish Nutrition Days, Helsinki, Finland
2009 17th European Congress on Obesity, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2008 16th European Congress on Obesity, Geneva, Switzerland
2008 18th Meeting of European Childhood Obesity Group, Porto, Portugal
2008 3rd Scandinavian Pediatric Obesity Conference, Stockholm
2007 15th European Congress on Obesity Budapest, Hungary
2007 Öresund Food Network, Copenhagen, Denmark
2006 2nd Scandinavian Pediatric Obesity Conference, Malmö, Sweden
2006 Nordic Obesity Meeting, Reykjavik, Iceland
2005 15th Meeting of European Childhood Obesity Group, Vienna, Austria
2004 1st Scandinavian Pediatric Obesity Conference, Malmö, Sweden
2000 Polish Diabetes Congress