Project coordinated by the University of Coimbra receives over 9 million euros EC funding to fight obesity and promote lifelong health and well being
The project "PAS GRAS: De-risking metabolic, environmental and behavioral determinants of obesity in children, adolescents and young adults", coordinated by Paulo Oliveira, researcher and vice-president of the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra (CNC-UC), has just received 9.5 million euros funding from the Horizon Europe Programme. The project involves partners from 8 European countries and aims to develop over the course of five years interdisciplinary research and innovation strategies towards a paradigm shift for the prevention and treatment of obesity, providing practical solutions for a healthy lifestyle in today's society.
The research work will focus on how lifestyle, mental health, family, socio-economic and environmental determinants impact on the development of obesity, as well as on how these interact with each individual's genetic and metabolic traits. Based on an integrated analysis of multiple parameters, it will be possible to develop a sound and tailored assessment of the increased risk of obesity and associated complications, including cardiovascular problems. The study will target children (3-9 years), adolescents (10-18 years), young adults (19-25 years), and their families, who are overweight or obese. The Project will also study cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet and physical activity. Moreover, it will design an international campaign aimed at improving health literacy and raising awareness about the risks of obesity.
"PAS GRAS will fill critical gaps in obesity diagnosis and prognosis and provide a set of innovative tools and measures aimed at leading people to make healthy lifestyle choices that counteract overweight/obesity," explains the project coordinator, further adding that “PAS GRAS is one of six projects funded at European level, with a team that relies on the involvement of citizens, researchers, health professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as local, national and international authorities, so that together we can permanently reduce the obesity rate, especially among young people.”
The project will involve 15 participants from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Poland, United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden.
"PAS GRAS" is coordinated by the consortium Centre for Innovation in Biomedicine and Biotechnology (CIBB), composed of CNC-UC, the Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR) and the Centre for Health Studies and Research of the University of Coimbra (CEISUC).
Original news article in Portuguese: Carolina Caetano (CNC-UC) and Catarina Ribeiro
English version: Diana Taborda