Policy Evaluation Network - Public policies addressing health-related behaviours in Europe

JPI HDHL JFA “Policy Evaluation Network” (PEN)
Policy Evaluation Network - Public policies addressing health-related behaviours in Europe
Professor Wolfgang Ahrens
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS


Partner Organization Partner Country
University College Cork (CHDR)Ireland
Medical University of Silesia in Katowice (SILVeR)Poland
University College Dublin (UCD-PH)Ireland
Vrije Universiteit (VU-P&P)The Netherlands
msterdam University Medical Center (Amsterdam UMC)The Netherlands
Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam (SocialEpiEMCR)The Netherlands
Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet)Norway
University of Bologna (UNIBO)Italy
Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam (PHP-DP)The Netherlands
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (EBPH-LMU)Germany
Helmholtz Zentrum München (T-HMGU)Germany
Gdansk University of Technlogy (GUT)Poland
Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory, French National Institute of Agricultural Research (GAEL- INRA)France
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS)Poland
Poznan University of Medical Sciences (PUMS)Poland
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)Germany
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)Italy
University of Limerick (UL)Ireland
Medical Center - University of Freiburg (IfEM)Germany
Friedrich‐Alexander University, Institute of Sport Science and Sport (FAU-ISS)Germany
University of Oslo, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (UiO-PHN)Norway
University of Ulm, Division of Sport and Rehabilitation Medicine (UUlm)Germany
Robert Koch Institute (RKI)Germany
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)Germany
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology (BIPS)Germany
Alimentation et Sciences Sociales (INRA ALISS)France
Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University (HUL)The Netherlands
University of Auckland (UOA)New Zealand

1. Overall project description

1.1 Summary

As part of the Joint Programming Initiative on a Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL), 28 research institutes from seven European countries and New Zealand have combined their expertise to form a Policy Evaluation Network (PEN). PEN’s vision is to provide Europe with tools to identify, evaluate and benchmark policies designed to directly or indirectly address physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and sedentary behaviour while accounting for existing health inequities. Using structured evaluation principles and methods, PEN will examine the content, implementation and impact of lifestyle policies across Europe and will build on existing knowledge from DEDIPAC (Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity) and the INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/ non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support) framework. With seven inter-related work packages (WPs), PEN will provide an overview of the ‘best’ public policies most likely to sustainably reduce physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and sedentary behaviour. It will realise the first steps in a bespoke policy monitoring and surveillance system for Europe and refine our knowledge of appropriate research designs and methods for the quantification of policy impact. It will contribute to our understanding of how to achieve successful transnational policy implementation of these evidence-based or evidence-grounded policies in different cultural, demographic or socio-economic settings with particular focus on vulnerable groups. PEN will provide recommendations on equity and diversity to ensure that policy actions are inclusive as opposed to exclusive, and are relevant to the changing landscape of Europe and are culturally sensitive. Finally, PEN will provide three worked examples of policy in practice. Three case studies will illustrate how best to evaluate the implementation and impact of policy in order to yield the best results for a healthy diet for a healthy life for European citizens.

1.2 Highlights

A workshop entitled “Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) Expert Workshop“, was conducted in Berlin on the 26th and 27th of September 2019. The primary aim of this workshop was to select and prioritise the set of prepared indicators for dietary behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviours, as well as for upstream drivers. In total, 39 experts took part; among them were experts from related projects, surveillance systems and organisations involved in monitoring and/or similar projects.

4. Impact

4.1 List of publications

AuthorsTitleYear, Issue, PPDoiPdf
Antje Hebestreit, Barbara Thumann, Maike Wolters, Jens Bucksch, Inge Huybrechts, Joanna Inchley, Cornelia Lange, Nanna Lien, Kristin Manz, Nadia Slimani, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, Wolfgang Ahrens, DEDIPAC Consortium[Related DEDIPAC publication] Road map towards a harmonized pan-European surveillance of obesity-related lifestyle behaviours and their determinants in children and adolescents10.1007/s00038-019-01227-y
Maartje M. van Stralen, Margreet R. Olthof, Linda J. Schoonmade, Ingrid H. M. Steenhuis, Carry M. RendersPolitical and public acceptability of a sugarsweetened beverages tax: a mixed-method systematic review and meta-analysis10.1186/s12966-019-0843-0

4.2 Presentation of the project

Target groupAuthorsMeans of communicationHyperlinkPdf
Scientific societyWolfgang Ahrens, Catherine Woods, Jeroen Lakerveld on behalf of the PEN Consortium. Effectiveness of existing policies for lifestyle interventions – Policy Evaluation Network (PEN), 4th JPI HDHL Conference, Brussels, 2017 Talk at scientific conference
Scientific societyCatherine Woods. The Policy Evaluation Network (PEN). The International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress, London, 2018Talk at an international conference
Scientific societyKatarzyna Wieczorowska-Tobis. Policy Evaluation Network – gerairic point of view. 15th International Congress of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) , Krakow, 2019Poster at a national conference
Michelle Eykelenboom, Maartje van Stralen, Margreet Olthof, Linda Schoonmade, Ingrid Steenhuis, Carry Renders. Political and social acceptability of a sugar-sweetened beverages tax: a mixed-method systematic review and meta-analysis. 18th Meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), Prague, 2019Talk at an international conference

4.3 List of submitted patents and other outputs

Patent licencePartners involvedYearInternational eu or national patentCommentPdf


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