Childhood obesity has grown to become one of the most dramatic features of the global obesity epidemic, with dire long-term consequences on health, social and economic outcomes. Obesity has spread to more than one in ten children aged 5-19 throughout southern Europe, in parts of central-eastern Europe and in the United Kingdom, with more than one in three children overweight in countries such as Greece, Malta and Italy. The spread of obesity has been fuelled by changes in social norms and living environments that have led to excessive and imbalanced nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, and ultimately obesity and the diseases associated with it.

Watch the video below to learn more about childhood obesity:


STOP (Science and Technology in childhood Obesity Policy), a Horizon 2020-funded project to tackle childhood obesity, aims at expanding and consolidating the multi-disciplinary evidence base upon which effective and sustainable policies can be built to prevent and manage childhood obesity. The primary focus of STOP is on the cumulative impacts of multiple and synergistic exposures in vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children and their families, which must be a priority target for the fight against childhood obesity in Europe. STOP will identify critical stages in childhood (starting from prenatal exposures) at which interventions can be most effective and efficient.

Learn more about the project and keep up with its results

Sign up to our newsletter

Get a brief summary of the project and its objectives

Download the STOP leaflet

Over a four-year period (2018-21), the STOP project will generate scientifically sound, novel 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 technological and organisational solutions and policy options available to address the problem.

The STOP project will translate the evidence gathered and generated into:

  • A comprehensive set of indicators and a measurement framework for the epidemiological surveillance of relevant dimensions of childhood obesity, its determinants and actions to address it in all European countries;
  • Policy briefs and toolkits providing practical guidance and tools for the design and the implementation of key policies;
  • A viable multi-stakeholder framework based on effective communication and negotiation approaches, a sound use of the existing evidence base, and appropriate mechanisms for setting targets, monitoring progress and evaluating actions.

In line with the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) and with the EU Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity (JANPA), STOP will adopt a life course and intergenerational perspective, assessing the role of determinants of childhood obesity before birth and in the earliest years of life, as well as the role of parenting and parental lifestyles, and the long-term links between childhood obesity, adult obesity and disease throughout the life course. STOP will emphasise the environmental dimension of childhood obesity, recognising the role of different environments surrounding children as major contributors to obesity, and the diverse characterisations of obesity, with a special emphasis on those associated with the most detrimental outcomes in vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children.

The project brings together major health and food sector actors, including scientists, health professionals, government policy makers, national public health agencies, international organisations, civil society and business organisations. STOP will establish new ways for policy-relevant evidence to be generated, made available and used in the design and implementation of effective and sustainable solutions for childhood obesity at the EU, national and local levels.

STOP is a consortium of twenty-four key actors in the health and food sectors, supported by seven third-party organisations, working together 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.

Click on the links below to learn more:


Imperial College logo
Tervise Arengu Instituut
WOF Logo
KIF logo

Third-party organisations

OECD logo
EIT Health logo
EAT foundation logo
Barilla Center logo
EIT Food logo
IARC logo

Need a leaflet? Interested in our results?
Here you can find our leaflets, newsletters, and deliverables

Read our communications and deliverables

Learn more about childhood obesity and how to lead healthier lifestyles with these helpful resources and tools

Other resources on childhood obesity

Register for the ECOG conference in November 2019!

Come share your expertise on childhood obesity prevention, treatment, and challenges at the  29th European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG) Conference in Katowice, Poland on November 13 – 16, 2019. The 4-day ECOG Conference is aimed at a wide range of specialists dealing […]

STOP-related research in Frontiers in Genetics

Professor Paolo Vineis of Imperial College London, and a researcher in the STOP project, recently co-authored* an article in Frontiers in Genetics ( | 1 April 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 325), on “The Cord Blood Insulin and Mitochondrial […]

More on child obesity: the CO-CREATE newsletter

STOP partner project CO-CREATE has recently sent their latest newsletter – if you missed it you can still see it here. In this edition you’ll learn about project developments with their childhood obesity system mapping work, their recent ‘organised youth’ […]

See all our news

To stay informed about the project and its results, sign up to our mailing list

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from STOP:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails.
Except for MailChimp, which we use as our email platform, we will not share your information with third parties.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.

For media enquiries please contact:
Professor Franco Sassi, STOP Project Principal Investigator
Imperial College Business School London

Laura Singleton, Media and PR Officer
Imperial College Business School London

If you should encounter any problems with the site, please contact:
Margaret Pesuit

All images on the site are from the World Obesity Federation's bank of free-to-use, non-stigmatising images of people with obesity, which can be found here:

The video above is courtesy of the project's coordinator, Imperial College, London