PREVENT – Improving and upscaling primary prevention of cancer by addressing childhood obesity

Programme: Horizon Programme
Project Status: ONGOING (July 2023 – June 2027)


What aims and scope

PREVENT aims to identify and overcome barriers in implementing effective strategies against childhood obesity as well as to improve the upscaling of primary interventions for weight control management in childhood and adolescence, with the ultimate goal of reducing cancer risks in adulthood. The project will address upscaling challenges by researching barriers to current interventions and policies. It will introduce context-aware interventions and user engagement strategies to overcome bottlenecks and expand to diverse settings.

How it will become possible 

The project will create inter-disciplinary Communities of Practice (CoP) composed of various stakeholders (i.e. physicians, oncologists, obesity associations, guardians, scholar units, educators, nutritionists, policy-makers, ministries, healthcare institution decision-makers in various care settings, etc.) for supervising the design, adaptation, implementation and assessment of the proposed interventions. Initially, current intervention policies and weight control strategies, especially in childhood and adolescence, will be examined.

Three Living Labs will engage 6,000 members, facilitating the co-design of successful interventions. Over 10,000 schools and 3.3 million students (ages 9-16) will be targeted through outreach efforts. The project aims to establish a framework for continuous assessment and validation of new policies, optimising evidence-based strategies for scaling up and widespread adoption. By doing so, PREVENT seeks to minimise cancer risk and promote healthier lifestyles among children and adolescents.

PREVENT will employ a comprehensive methodology to accelerate scaling-up of weight control interventions. It will identify barriers, survey successful practices, and develop legislative proposals, considering constitutional, legal, and privacy constraints, to address scaling-up challenges.

Where EHMA delivers 

EHMA will design the framework for the PREVENT scaling-up model to extract specific implementation research pathways based on which the scaling-up outreach actions will be designed to maximise their impact and efficiency. EHMA will also evaluate the implementation of PREVENT results and innovation packages not only within the pilot cases but also in other European countries and regions. EHMA will explore the uptake of the PREVENT tool and methodology by healthcare institutions.

In addition to that, EHMA will develop a comprehensive plan on how the project will create health and societal impact; ensure wide outreach to multi-stakeholder communities with tailored messages; and develop a strategy on how the project results will be exploited beyond the project lifecycle.

 

Read the press release for the project launch.

 

 

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HaDEA. Neither the European Union nor HaDEA can be held responsible for them.

WHY YOU WILL BENEFIT

Overweight and obesity are linked to many types of cancer such as oesophagus, colorectal, breast, endometrial and kidney. Between 30–50% of all cancer cases can be prevented through proactive measures. By emphasising prevention, we can establish a cost-effective long-term strategy to effectively combat cancer. However, it is unfortunate that cancer prevention often goes unnoticed within health systems, despite its immense potential to save costs, empower patients and enhance overall health outcomes, which are of paramount importance for health management at system level.

To effectively target childhood obesity, a multi-level and top-down approach is required, where health managers contribute by improving health literacy among the general population. Investing in obesity preventive policies and interventions at school and community levels generates long-term cost savings and better resource allocation in health systems. By investing in prevention and health promotion, health systems can achieve a more sustainable and effective management model, where financial savings from prevention can be reinvested into expanding services, improving access, and further enhancing the overall quality of care. These initiatives not only alleviate the economic burden but also promote health equity and social well-being.

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