I.Family partners lead debates at international conference on nutrition behaviour & physical activity

Results from the IDEFICS Study – precursor to the I.Family Study – will be presented by I.Family partners for the first time this week at the annual gathering of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA).

Professor Wolfgang Ahrens, Co-ordinator of both the IDEFICS and I.Family Studies, has been invited to chair a symposium at this event, which begins today in San Diego, on “Effects of the IDEFICS intervention: a community-based intervention to prevent overweight and obesity in eight European countries.”  The symposium takes place on Friday 25th May at 9.15am – the full programme is available here.

The IDEFICS Study ran from 2006-2012 and examined children between the ages of two and nine in eight European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden).  The I.Family Study is currently building on the work of IDEFICS, monitoring the children as they move into adolescence.

Professor Ahrens explains, “IDEFICS involved a cohort of more than 16,000 children – about 2,000 per country and equally divided over intervention and control areas –examined at baseline and two years later, allowing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the prevention programme.”

ISBNPA is the international leader in advancing and fostering excellence in research on nutrition behaviour and physical activity.  With close to 400 members representing 29 countries, ISBNPA is “an excellent opportunity to showcase the work of the IDEFICS and I.Family Studies, and to inform the global debate on childhood health and obesity,” said Professor Ahrens.

In the IDEFICS symposium at ISBNPA, I.Family partners will present on:

  • “Effects of the two-years IDEFICS community intervention on body composition and physiological parameters in young children “ (Professor Wolfgang Ahrens, Leibniz Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research -BIPS, Germany)
  • “Behavioural effects of a community-oriented setting-based intervention for prevention of childhood obesity” (Professor Iris Pigeot, Leibniz Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research -BIPS, Germany)
  • “Process evaluation of the IDEFICS intervention: putting effect evaluation in context”

(Author: Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij /Presenter: Lea Maes, Ghent University, Belgium)

ENDS/Contacts and Notes follow

Media contacts:

Kate Viggers/Rhonda Smith – Minerva UK – +44(0)1264-326427 – +44(0)7887-714957 – +44 (0)7921-804641

Notes for Editors:

  1. The IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants) Study was funded by the European Commission with two aims:  (1) To investigate the aetiology of diet- and lifestyle-related diseases and disorders with a strong focus on overweight/obesity in children; (2) To develop, implement and evaluate a setting-based community-oriented preventative intervention programme.
  2. The I.Family Study is an EC funded project under Framework 7 of the KBBE programme running from March 2012 to February 2017. It has 17 partners, working across 11 countries and with cohorts in 8 European countries – Germany, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain and Belgium.  The Study has two strategic objectives:
    (1) Understand the interplay between barriers against and drivers towards healthy food choice;  (2) Develop and disseminate strategies to induce changes that promote healthy dietary behaviour in European consumers especially adolescents and their parents
  3. The I.Family Study is re-assessing the families first engaged with the Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants Study (IDEFICS), when children were below 10 years of age, now that they move into adolescence – the ‘tween’ years – identifying those families that have adopted a healthy approach to food and eating habits and those that have not. I. Family is adopting a holistic approach by also investigating the biological, behavioural, social and environmental factors that drive dietary behaviour as children journey towards adulthood.
  4. I.Family Study partners:
Participant organisation Lead investigator(s) Key responsibilities
University of Bremen, Germany Wolfgang Ahrens Project coordinator
BIPS – Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research GmbH, Germany Iris Pigeot German cohort, statistics
Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Italy Alfonso Siani Italian cohort, nutritional epidemiology
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark Lucia Reisch,
Wencke Gwozdz
Consumer behaviour & environmental influences
University of Lancaster, United Kingdom Garrath Williams Ethics, policy, and stakeholder engagement
Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden Staffan Mårild,
Lauren Lissner
Swedish cohort, family analysis
University of Helsinki, Finland Jaakko Kaprio Familial aggregation & genetic modelling
University of the Baleares Islands, Spain Andreu Palou,
Catalina Picó
Genomic analysis
University of Pécs, Hungary Dénes Molnár Hungarian cohort
Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, The Netherlands Roger Adan Neuroimaging & neuropsychology
Research and Education Institute of Child Health, Cyprus Michael Tornaritis Cypriot cohort
National Institute for Health Development, Estonia Toomas Veidebaum Estonian cohort
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Italy Vittorio Krogh Dietary assessment methods
University of Bristol, United Kingdom Angie Page,
Ashley Cooper
Physical activity monitoring
Minerva PRC Ltd, United Kingdom Rhonda Smith
Kate Viggers
Dissemination and communication
University of Zaragoza, Spain Luis Moreno Spanish cohort
Ghent University, Belgium Stefaan De Henauw Belgian cohort



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