Over half of Europe’s adults are either overweight or have obesity. As well as being a disease itself, obesity increases the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and various cancers. Obesity affects people in low socio-economic groups disproportionately. However, it is one of the most preventable causes of death. The OBCT project aims to provide health professionals, policymakers, researchers, and the public with new knowledge, maps and tools:

  • to understand how and where in Europe obesity risk factors affect individuals and communities across the life course,
  • to identify how this relates to socioeconomic position,
  • to understand how risk factors can be identified in the individual to tailor interventions,
  • to identify which public policies effectively reduce these risks, and how these approaches can be implemented in the community

OBCT is led by the University of Amsterdam, working with 12 partner organisations from eight countries: UK, Poland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Spain.


  1. Extend the current understanding of obesity risks in low-socioeconomic communities across the life course.

  2. Map European obesity trends, obesogenic environments and obesity-related cardio-metabolic disease risk;

  3. Develop and test a holistic obesity risk screener for use by the public and by health professionals;

  4. Provide country-specific estimates of trends in general and abdominal obesity at key stages of the life course, EU-wide;

  5. Provide a digital, interactive atlas on the obesogenicity of environments of all local administrative units within the EU;

  6. Characterise obesity-related cardio-metabolic risk profiles over gender, age, SEP within representative EU countries;

  7. Develop tailored recommendations for dietary, physical activity, and sedentary behaviours;

  8. Determine the potential impact of obesity-related policies on inequality;

  9. Develop a microsimulation model to evaluate health and economic impacts of policies, and provide a practical decision support dashboard for policymakers for all European countries;

  10. Provide co-developed and tested toolboxes to support implementation of policy recommendations in low-socioeconomic communities.

CHEPI involvement

CHEPI is engaged in two work packages in OBCT:

WP1: Socioeconomic-dependent pathways to obesity within and across generations. CHEPI will support the delivery of task 1.6 to generate an OBCT risk prediction model. This will use the Health-GPS policy simulation tool to look at the range of risk factors by age, gender, socioeconomic position and country.

WP4: Making policies work and task 4.2 in particular to simulate the long-term impact of prevention policies on obesity, equality, and cost. Health-GPS will be extended so that it can project individual risk of obesity to population level. The work will estimate impacts of changes in risks on incidence and prevalence as well as look at economic and social outcomes by gender and socioeconomic position. Included in the simulation will be an analysis of policy scenarios aimed at the prevention of obesity.  

Principal investigator: Professor Jeroen Lakerveld (Stichting Amsterdam UMC)

CHEPI lead: Professor Franco Sassi

Funder: Horizon Europe

Partners: Erasmus MC, World Obesity Federation, European Association for the Study of Obesity, European Coalition for People Living with Obesity, Imperial College London, Norges idrettshøgskole, Region H Frederiksberg Hospital, SWPS University, Universidad de Alcala, University of Oslo, University of Oulu

Duration: November 2023 - November 2028 (60 months)

Website: https://www.obct.nl/ 


Professor Franco Sassi