Paulina Nowicka

Paulina Nowicka

Affiliated to Research | Docent
Visiting address: Enheten för pediatrik, Novum, Blickagången 6A, 14157 Huddinge
Postal address: H9 Klinisk vetenskap, intervention och teknik, H9 CLINTEC Pediatrik, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • Associate Professor in Pediatric Science at Karolinska Institutet
    Professor in Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, especially the
    communication of dietetics, at Uppsala University
    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.
    I am responsible for several projects related to childhood obesity. Most
    recently I lead work package Health Care in the EU project Science and
    Technology in childhood Obesity Policy (STOP), financed by Horizont2020
    program and lead by Imperial College. This large €10 milj project examines
    during 2018-2022 opportunities for interventions to help reduce the high
    burden of childhood obesity in Europe. This includes improving our
    understanding of how the environment in which we live shapes children’s
    behaviours and parents’ choices, starting from before birth. The project
    investigates early signs of biological changes due to those behaviours,
    eventually leading to obesity, in 17 cohorts of children throughout Europe.
    An experimental study is undertaken in Sweden, Spain and Romania to test
    whether digital technologies can help very young obese children and their
    families to achieve sustainable improvements in body weight, especially for
    children from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background.
    Childhood obesity has been in focus already for my doctoral thesis [1]
    (2009, Lund University) and postdoctoral research (2009-2014, Yale
    University, University of Oregon and University of Oxford). Over the years I
    have been main supervisor for three doctoral students and five postdoctoral
    fellows. I have also held several distinguished national and
    international assignments in the field of obesity: Scientific Secretary for
    the Swedish Association for the Study of Obesity (SFO), board member of the
    Childhood Obesity Taskforce (COTF) of the European Association for the Study
    of Obesity (EASO), board of the European Childhood Obesity Group
    (ECOG), member of the Expert Group in Nutrition and Public Health of the
    National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket). In 2015, I organised ECOG:s 25th
    European Obesity Childhood Obesity Congress that took place in Stockholm.
    Currently, I am a member of the Steering Committee for development of the new
    national guidelines for obesity by Swedish National Board of Health and
    Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), I am also a member of the expert committee for a
    smiliar work undertaken by WHO with focus on primary healthcare.
    From 2021 Member of Guideline Development Group, Obesity in primary
    healthcare, WHO
    From 2020 Member of Steering Committe for development of the new national
    guidelines for Obesity by Swedish National Board of Health and
    Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)
    From 2021 Member of the Research Committee, Faculty of Social
    Sciences, University University
    From 2020 Member of Recruitment Group for Professors, Faculty of
    Sciences, Uppsala University
    2019-2021 Associate Editor, Nutrition Journal
    2015-2016 Member of the International Scientific Committee of the
    European Congress on Obesity 2016
    2016-2018 Member of the Expert Group in Nutrition and Public Health,
    National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket).
    2014-2017 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)
    2004-2008 Chairman of the organising committee, Scandinavian Pediatric
    Obesity Conference
    2003-2004 Chairman of the Swedish Dietitians Expert Group for Childhood
    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 Workshop, Lund
    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 as well as effectiveness of
    different treatment approaches. We are also interested in scale development,
    psychometrics and survey design.
    One of the main projects is a randomized controlled trial, the More and Less
    Study [1], testing different treatment options for preschoolers with obesity.
    This parent-only method has been shown to be one the two effective approaches
    in the world to reduce obesity in preschool aged children, according to a
    follow up 12 months after treatment start (Ek et al, Pediatrics 2019
    [2]). We are currently working on 4-year-follow-up.
    My research has been funded by Swedish Research Council, Swedish Medical
    Society, FORTE, VINNOVA, EU HORIZON 2020 (grant no. 774548) and other
    funding bodies (for complete list see my CV).


  • For complete description, please see my CV.


All other publications


  • Affiliated to Research, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, 2022-2025

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2015

News from KI

Events from KI