Welcome to More and Less Europe (H2020 STOP project)

Mer och Mindre Europa

Science and Technology in childhood Obesity policy (STOP) Project

The STOP project is funded with a grant (no. 774548) from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research Programme for Sustainable Food Security. The project is led by Professor Franco Sassi, Director of the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation at Imperial College Business School, to bring together a range of key health and food sector actors to generate scientifically sound and policy-relevant evidence on the factors that have contributed to the spread of childhood obesity in European countries and on the effects of alternative policy options available to address the problem. This evidence will complement, systematize, and partly re-frame the findings of an established body of prior research by leveraging the latest scientific findings. In a timely fashion STOP will generate comprehensive and policy-relevant measures of childhood obesity in all European countries; it will generate new trans-disciplinary evidence of the role of key determinants of childhood obesity, emphasizing the role of different environments surrounding children, from analyses of detailed multi-dimensional measurements taken on several established EU cohorts, including epigenetic and biological mediators of obesity; it will assess the impacts of policies and actions to address childhood obesity based observations in the same children cohorts and policy simulations of the health, social, and economic outcomes of policies.

The STOP project is made up of 11 interrelated work packages and coordinated by a team at Imperial College Business School. The project’s partner organisations include other university research departments, government bodies, international organisations (WHO, IARC and OECD), civil society organisations concerned with health and children, as well as European Consortia (EIT Health and EIT Food) promoting innovation in the food and health sectors, respectively. Partner organisations are based in 12 EU member states, along with Switzerland, the United States and New Zealand.

KI is responsible for the health care work package (Work package 8, Principal Investigator: Professor Paulina Nowicka) and the objectives of this work package are to examine the limitations shown by approaches to address childhood obesity in the health care setting in large scale experimental studies, and build on the elements that have shown the greatest promise. The specific objectives are:

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of an early childhood obesity intervention using a mixed-methods approach in three sites (Stockholm, Sweden; Mallorca, Spain; and Timisoara, Romania). The intervention will utilize an already developed family-based approach (Ek et al. BMC Health. 2015. 15:735) and strengthened with a digital follow-up (Nyström et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017. 105(6):1327-35); whereas the control will receive written lifestyle information or standard care. The primary outcome is change in BMI z-score and secondary outcomes include: food habits, eating behaviors, physical activity, epigenetics, metabolomics, gut hormones, and microbiota.
  • To evaluate generalizability dimensions to ensure the findings are applicable or adaptable to a wide range of local settings with a specific focus on socioeconomically disadvantaged households.

The total funding from EU is EUR 9 600 863. More information about the project is to be found here: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/214762_en.html

Content reviewer:
Åsa Catapano