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IDEFICS - Identification and prevention of dietary and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants
Summary: IDEFICS is a European Union-funded project, designed to run for five years from September 2006. The project is coordinated by the University of Bremen, Germany, with the participation of 23 renowned research institutes and small and medium sized enterprises located in 11 different EU countries. The study aims to deliver reliable data for the first time to make possible an international assessment of the problem of obesity in children.
Funder: European Union
Principal Investigator: Garrath Williams (Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR)
IDEFICS is a community-oriented intervention study that aims to provide evidence on how to reduce the incidence of overweight, obesity and associated diseases in 2- to 10- year-old European children. The intervention branch of the study involves activities for health promotion and obesity prevention in kindergartens and schools, affecting around 8,000 children. These measures are being evaluated with reference to a similar number of children in comparable control regions. The results of the study should feed into future prevention programmes, and be incorporated into various guidelines on nutrition-, behaviour and lifestyle-choices.
Lancaster's main roles in the IDEFICS study are:
· Counseling of all partners on regulations, laws and guidelines concerning ethics and data protection issues of research with children and families.
· Investigating ethical issues raised by the research regarding childhood obesity (e.g. the role of children's rights and parents responsibilities in the development of the diseases under investigation).
· Participating in the development and ethical analysis of various questionnaires produced during the project (e.g. questionnaires regarding parental views concerning policy issues around children's health and on their views of the intervention itself).
· Development of a strategy to integrate social factors (including ethnicity, class and gender) into all research.
· We are currently working on an ethics and policy report on childhood obesity in the light of the intervention studies, to include policy recommendations.
University of Bremen, Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine:
Contact person in Bremen:
IDEFICS group at Lancaster:
Garrath Williams (Principal Investigator)
The European Food Information Council (Eufic):
Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA):
Food Ethics Council:
This project is funded by the European Community within the Sixth RTD Framework Programme, Contract No. 016181 (FOOD).
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