Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DIOGENES — Result In Brief

Project ID: 513946
Funded under: FP6-FOOD
Country: Netherlands

A multi-pronged attack on obesity

A European initiative has combined the forces of academia and industry to tackle one of the most insidious threats to health in the developed world: obesity.
A multi-pronged attack on obesity
Obesity is still a major problem in a number of developed countries. A five-year EU initiative, 'Diet, obesity and genes' (Diogenes), has recently concluded a study into how obesity can be prevented from a dietary perspective. A consortium of 29 partners across Europe integrated genetic, physiological and psychological factors involved to develop sustainable regimes to avoid weight gain.

Pooling knowledge and experience, project members included world-class centres of diet and health studies, epidemiology, dietary genomics and food technology. Industry was also well represented by three major food producers and five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

A critical intervention study collected data on the impact of macronutrient intake on weight gain in families suffering from obesity. The overweight parents followed an eight-week loss regimen consisting of a low-calorie formula diet. Another study investigated the effect of protein and glycaemic index (GI) on children's body composition.

To identify key psychological and behavioural traits that predispose to weight gain, researchers assessed lifestyle and psychosocial aspects of eating. Further support came from input from food technology aimed to develop foods that achieved enhanced satiety signals but that also kept calorie intake to a minimum.

Diogenes developed a centralised database for the large amount of data collected. Information including GI values and glycaemic load in five languages was integrated for optimal analysis. Results of the project have been published in numerous scientific journals and further dissemination achieved through workshops and conferences.

For help through the Internet, Diogenes developed the online tool 'Obesity risk and behavioural advice screening tool' (Orbast). This new system is specifically designed to help people identify potential lifestyle changes for weight management.

The Diogenes project research has identified new approaches to obesity management that are geared for application across the whole of Europe.

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