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Overweight and obesity will only decrease if we work on prevention in several places at the same time: from micro to macro environments. Therefore, experts from multiple disciplines need to work together. But how? At this conference they will work on solutions together.

The figures don’t lie: in the Netherlands more than half of the population has overweight and about 14% is obese. In the US, the figures are as high as 72% and 42% respectively. And the numbers are only increasing. This is causing more chronic diseases and social problems, such as social inequality, high healthcare costs and less labor productivity. But how can we turn the tide? ‘Prevention’ and ‘integrated approach’ are important keywords, but how do you tackle it and what works? 

On 23 November 2022 the Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH) of the alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht will organize the conference ‘Accelerating cooperation to stop overweight and obesity’. Experts, from scientists to practitioners, will share their vision on the biggest challenges in preventing overweight and obesity AND work out solutions together. i4PH will reward the teams with the best ideas with seed money for further research. In return, the teams will share the insights from their project so we can all benefit from it.

Why join the conference?

During this conference you will:

  • hear all about the biggest challenges in different environments
  • get to work on solutions to the biggest challenges
  • get a chance to win seed funding for research projects
  • meet various experts (all stakeholders are represented) 


In the morning we will focus on challenges and in the afternoon teams of experts, from scientists to practitioners, will work out possible solutions together. Five groups will pitch their ideas to the audience and together we will work towards an interdisciplinary project proposal with many stakeholders involved. The teams will receive seed money for further research. This is a selection of all seed call proposals, submitted before 21 October 2022. In the months following the conference, the groups will share their findings with the conference visitors, so that everyone can benefit from their knowledge and experience. After all, sharing is caring!

The program:

  • 9:00 – 9:30 Registration & coffee
  • 9:30 – 9:45 Welcome

Antje Diertens, former member of the Dutch ‘Tweede Kamer’ and initiator of the memorandum Healthy lifestyle: How to stop overweight & obesity?

Read more about Diertens vision in this article: Improving health in The Netherlands with shared goals.

  • 9.45 – 12.15 Challenges & opportunities:
  1. Co-shaping future cities: towards a healthy environment panel discussion with
  2. Stimulating sustainable behaviour change for a healthy lifestyle, with
  3. The work environment of the future: what is the dot on the horizon? panel discussion with
    • Aarnout Brombacher, Professor in Design Theory and information Flow Analysis (TU/e)
    • Rianne Meijerman, Head of User Onboarding & New Business Development Ancora Health
    • Susan Peters, Assistant Professor Department Population Health Sciences (UU)
    • Margreet de Kok, Sr Scientist and Project leader TNO & the Workplace Vitality Hub
  4. Improving lifestyle behaviour whilst growing up, with
  5. National Growth Fund: PreventiePromotor, with
  • 12:15 – 13:15 Lunch and networking
  • 13:15 – 16.00 Pitches

Five groups will work out a project proposal and present their idea for the audience. Each session will be hosted by moderators: Patricia Jaspers, managing director EAISI (TU/e), Roel Vermeulen, Institute for Risk Assessment (UU/UMCU), Niek de Wit, professor General Practice and Division chair Julius Center of Health Sciences and Primary Care (UMCU) and Ellen Kampman, professor and chair in Nutrition and Disease (WUR). The groups with the best idea will be rewarded with seed funding.

  • 16.00 – 16.15 Plenary session & wrap-up
  • 16.15 – 17.00 Drinks

For whom?

All professionals and those interested in preventing obesity and overweight are more than welcome to join us at the conference. From young researchers (postdoc and up) of our 4 institutions, healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, dieticians and others), CIO’s, IT directors, SMEs, Corporates, start-ups, public organizations, clinical organizations, NGOs, governmental bodies GGD to municipalities. 

Practical information & registration

  • Location: Jaarbeurs Utrecht
  • Participation is free of charge
  • Registration: click here to register


Want to contribute as a speaker? Please contact Martine van der Mast.