Prevention of unhealthy weight gain and obesity during crucial phases throughout the lifespan

In January 2020, the JPI HDHL launched PREPHOBES, the 4th call under the umbrella of the ERA-NET HDHL-INTIMIC.


Overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) and obesity (BMI of 30 or greater) are associated with a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. The rising prevalence of obesity in Western countries is of particular concern due to the serious adverse psychological, social and health consequences. Overweight is the result of a positive energy balance, with dietary intake and physical activity being the principal health behaviours contributing to it. Similar to the body mass index, dietary and physical activity habits track strongly from youth to adolescence and adulthood. Therefore, it is important to establish healthy behaviours early in the lifespan to prevent overweight and obesity. Determinants (e.g. personal, socio-economics depending on the physical environment, etc.) of healthy behaviours, and targeted prevention strategies to address these determinants, differ across the life span, depending on levels of an individual’s independence and autonomy, cognitive function, motivation and education, socio-economic status and competing life commitments. Thus, strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain targeted to different phases across the life span are urgently needed.

Aim of the call

The aim of this call is to support research projects that focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative strategies designed to prevent or reduce overweight and obesity, in defined target populations based on certain life stages.

The research to be funded within this call should have a holistic, multi-disciplinary and solution orientated approach and focus on one or more crucial phase(s) throughout the lifespan such as transition periods (for example from prenatal to postnatal phase/infancy, pre-school to school age, adolescence to early adulthood) or critical life events (for example moving, marriage, period in between pregnancies, diagnosis of a chronic disease, recovering from disease, retirement, migration). To increase the impact of the research and facilitate its later use in future policies on lifestyle interventions and public health, this call strongly encourages the active integration of stakeholders (e.g. patient and/or consumer organisations) or citizen science approaches. These partners should be engaged in the research process from conception of the study to dissemination and implementation

Participating countries
Country Funding Organisation Abbreviation
Austria Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (represented by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency) BMBWF represented by FFG
Belgium Research Foundation – Flanders FWO
Belgium* Fund for Scientific Research-FNRS F.R.S.-FNRS
Czech Republic The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports MSMT
France French National Research Agency ANR
Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (represented by the Project Management Agency in the German Aerospace Center) BMBF represented by DLR
Ireland Health Research Board HRB
Italy* National Institute of Health - Istituto Superiore di Sanità  ISS
Latvia* Ministry of Education and Science IZM
Spain Spanish State Research Agency AEI
The Netherlands The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development ZonMw

* Did not fund research projects in this call

Funded projects
Project Coordinator
EndObesity Romy Gaillard
Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
GrowH! Wolfgang Ahrens
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS, Germany
I-PREGNO Mireille van Poppel
Institute of Sport Science, University of Graz, Austria
SO-NUTS Peter Weijs
Faculty of Sports and Nutrition, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
More Information

Research Framework

Contact Call Secretariat: ILVO (Belgium)

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s
H2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement n.696300

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