Determinants of eating behaviour in European children, adolescents and their parents (Consumers)
Project acronym: I.Family
Title of project: Determinants of eating behaviour in European children, adolescents and their parents
Research area: Consumers
Contract No: 266044
EU contribution: €9 000 000
Start date: March 2012
Duration: 60 months
The project I.Family is helping identify the reasons why young people in Europe eat the way they do and how this influences lifelong health. Nutrition-related diseases caused a loss of over 56 million years of healthy life among European citizens in 2000. I.Family is making a significant contribution to reducing this burden by studying the interplay and impact of the main drivers of dietary behaviour and food choice.
Many factors come in to play in this research. The time young people spend with their families and the influence the family has on them are challenged by modern, independent lifestyles: where processed foods, drinks and snacks are readily available. Moreover, marketing and peer pressures are accompanied by screen-based distractions and urban environments that reduce opportunities for physical activity. All these factors play their part in the increase of food-related-diseases – under-pinned by acquired taste preferences and genetic predisposition.
The focus of I.Family is on the family environment, socio-behavioural and genetic factors. Groups of people with contrasting dietary profiles are under investigation: looking at measures of brain activity, the relation of genes to food choice, the biological and genetic basis for taste thresholds, sleep patterns, sedentary time, physical activity and the impact of their local built environment.
The project is taking advantage of the unique opportunity to follow-up the large children's cohort investigated in the IDEFICS FP6 project on child obesity. This opportunity not only provides added value by maintaining the existing cohort but also, exceptionally, allows the assessment of the dynamic nature of causal factors over time and during transition into adolescence.
I.Family will also link health outcomes like body composition and cardio-metabolic markers to diet and interacting factors to determine their prognostic value. In this way, I.Family provides strength of methodology, breadth of coverage and depth of investigation right across the ecological model. Guided by research on ethical implications, I.Family will use its results to derive effective communication strategies that empower European consumers to induce behaviour changes, supported by novel web-based, interactive personalised feedback on dietary behaviour. By building on existing success, I.Family expects to take research on dietary behaviour to the next level in a short time frame.
Website of project: www.ifamilystudy.eu
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens, email@example.com
Organisation: University of Bremen (UNIHB), www.uni-bremen.de/
- Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Italy, www.isa.cnr.it/webisa/
- Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, www.cbs.dk/en/
- University of Lancaster, United Kingdom, www.lancs.ac.uk
- Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, www.gu.se/
- University of Helsinki, Finland, www.helsinki.fi/university/
- University of the Baleares Island, Spain, www.uib.es/
- University of Pécs, Hungary, aok.pte.hu/
- Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, the Netherlands, www.umcutrecht.nl/zorg/
- Research and Education Institute of Child Health, Cyprus, www.childhealth.ac.cy/
- National Institute for Health Development, Estonia, www.tai.ee/
- Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Italy, www.istitutotumori.mi.it/
- University of Bristol, United Kingdom, www.bris.ac.uk/
- Minerva PRC Ltd., United Kingdom, www.minervaprc.com/
- Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research GmbH, Germany, www.bips.uni-bremen.de/
- University Ghent, Belgium, www.ugent.be/en
- University of Zaragoza, Spain, www.unizar.es/