A ground-breaking inter-disciplinary approach to address childhood obesity: development of evidence and tools

To change trends of childhood obesity across the EU, comprehensive action is needed. The ground-breaking inter-disciplinary approach adopted in the STOP project allowed us, over the first 18 months, to identify key findings that will help researchers and policymakers develop effective obesity interventions, including:

  • Establishing a framework and initial data collection aimed at gauge policies and actions to explore the spread of obesity
  • Identifying a “molecular signature” of childhood obesity to help assess some of the causal pathways to childhood obesity
  • Identifying some of the barriers faced by health professionals when trying to persuade parents of the importance of addressing children’s weight problems

STOP will now generate a number of tools and evidence relevant for stakeholders in the research, private and policymaking spheres to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of interventions to address childhood obesity across the EU. These will include:

  • Detailed scorecards, developed in collaboration with PEN, for countries across the EU identifying gaps and formulating priority actions for national governments
  • Assessing commitments and performance of some of the biggest companies among package food and soft drinks manufacturers, quick service restaurants, school food environments and supermarkets
  • Developing a microsimulation tool to test risk factors, diseases, interventions and estimate the global burden of diseases

Through its research and development of innovative tools, we will generate solutions to address childhood obesity by working at local, national and EU levels, while simultaneously engaging a wide range of stakeholders.