Big Data against Childhood Obesity
IEGS is a partner in a four year research project (2017-2020) titled Big Data against Childhood Obesity, or BigO. The project is funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 program. The aim of the project is to collect and analyse data on children’s behavior and their environment, to enable public health authorities to plan and execute effective programs against obesity. Approximately 2.8 million deaths per year in the EU can be attributed to causes associated with being overweight or obese1, and the problem continues to grow. IEGS is excited to be participating in the international effort, collaborating with scientists, clinicians, and engineers in Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Sweden.
Our role in the project includes the active participation of students on a voluntary basis as citizen scientists, providing data on their diet, activity patterns, and local environment through innovative e-Health technology platforms, including a mobile app and activity sensors. Privacy is always a concern, and the utmost care is being taken to ensure participant privacy via anonymisation and data encryption pursuant to EU and Swedish law. We are working to integrate student participation in the BigO project into the curriculum where appropriate, including the health and wellness portion of physical education courses, for example. Our goal is to foster a greater understanding for the students of the scientific process and the role of science in public policy.
For more information about the project take a look at their website, www.bigoprogram.eu.
1. European Association for the Study of Obesity, EASO.org