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We believe the most effective way to prevent a high prevalence of obesity throughout the life course is to avoid its development in children and promote healthy weight maintenance during adolescence and young adulthood.
The main concept behind Obelisk, is dedicated to understanding, predicting, and preventing obesity in children and providing precision medicine for those affected.
The 4P’s approach of Obelisk involves active participation from all stakeholders including families, scientific and medical communities, daycare centres, schools, policymakers, and industry, to drive social innovation and achieve successful outcomes.
Our ambitious research programme will be implemented over five years by a consortium of 15 partners across Europe. The programme is based on the 4P approach. It aims to develop evidence-based clinical guidelines, best practices, and preventive strategies to combat overweight and obesity and their associated health conditions at all stages of life.
With the help of predictive tools and targeted prevention strategies developed by Obelisk, patients and clinicians can work together to make informed decisions on the most suitable interventions for controlling the progression of obesity in children. This empowers patients to take control of their health and well-being.
By following the Obelisk evidence-based guidelines, policymakers, national and local authorities, nurseries, schools, and sports centres can create more efficient prevention campaigns to combat childhood overweight and obesity.
The rise in childhood obesity is a mounting worry in Europe that demands our attention. This trend is concerning because obesity in childhood often leads to health issues in later life. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that Europe has a high prevalence of childhood obesity: Today approximately one in three school-aged children and one in four adolescents are with overweight or obesity.
Childhood obesity can be caused by various factors such as the consumption of sugary and fast foods, and high-calorie beverages that lack nutritional value. Sedentary lifestyles, often due to excessive screen time and reduced outdoor activities, are also major contributors to this problem. Additionally, low socioeconomic status can limit access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Inadequate urban planning that fails to prioritise safe outdoor spaces and a lack of supportive policies can also impede healthy lifestyles. Lastly, genetic predisposition can make some children more susceptible to obesity when exposed to an obesogenic environment.
Childhood obesity is a pressing issue that requires collective action to mitigate its impact on the health and well-being of our children and future generations. By understanding its prevalence, causes, and problems in later life, we can work together to create healthier environments and brighter futures for our children. Join us in raising awareness and taking steps toward a healthier Europe!
Obelisk aims to address the scientific challenges that have hindered progress in childhood obesity research. These include the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the biological pathways involved in the development of obesity, the need to consider socio-economic and lifestyle factors, and the scarcity of pre-obesity biomarkers to predict and monitor the effectiveness of interventions. In addition, there is a need for better clinical research and knowledge of lifestyle habits, environmental exposures, and susceptibility to co-morbidities. Obelisk will bring innovative solutions to this significant health problem in the EU, which could prevent the development of severe forms of obesity and related diseases. Importantly, the project has access to the most extensive EU cohorts of young patients with obesity to support our research.
Obelisk aims to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms contributing to or preventing childhood obesity. It seeks to develop tools for early prediction and prevention, identify new genes associated with childhood obesity, and explore targeted approaches for prevention. The project will also conduct a clinical study on an existing drug to reverse obesity in individuals with a genetic predisposition. Obelisk will disseminate best practices, educate others on preventing and treating childhood obesity, and collaborate with other initiatives to optimise knowledge and joint activities.
The project is built on a participatory approach, with engagement from families and carers, daycare providers and schools, local authorities, the healthcare industry, policymakers, and the scientific and academic communities.