Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology
The primary objective of our scientific program is to understand the causal relations between nutrition, as well as other lifestyle factors and major chronic diseases.
Our research focus is to discover the environmental, genetic and epigenetic determinants of chronic diseases and develop new approaches to their prevention. We work in an interdisciplinary way with both questionnaire-based research and research on biomarkers to understand associations between diet, lifestyle and health and to investigate mechanisms behind the development of chronic diseases.
Our research encompasses diet, energy balance, obesity, physical activity, specific nutrients and dietary supplements, use of certain medicines, food-related contaminants, smoking, and intermediate biologic markers.
It has long been recognized that nutritional change could have potentially enormous public health benefits such as reducing incidence of cardiovascular, cancer and other chronic diseases as well as decreasing mortality from these diseases. While we have made some notable advances, there still remains considerable uncertainty about nutritional determinants of chronic disease and their associated biological mechanisms.
Progress in resolving these uncertainties would advance the field of Nutritional Epidemiology and put both national and international public health recommendations and programs of health promotion and prevention on firmer evidence-based knowledge.
Population-based prospective cohort studies
To pursue our hypotheses, we currently administer four prospective cohorts, compriced of 110 000 participants: