A consortium of 14 research and advocacy organisations meeting in Oslo, Norway, today (May 2nd) have launched a ground-breaking project involving young people themselves in a bid to tackle overweight and obesity. Supported by the European Commission, the budget of over €9.5m will provide a programme of activities for a five-year period 2018-2023.
The project, titled CO-CREATE, will work with adolescents to create, inform and disseminate policies to tackle obesity among their peers. The project will use a societal systems approach to understand how factors associated with obesity interact at various levels. The project focuses on adolescence as a crucial age-group with increasing autonomy and soon to be the next generation of adults, parents and policymakers, and thus important agents for change. CO-CREATE aims to involve and empower adolescents and youth organizations to foster a participatory process of identifying and formulating relevant policies, assessing the options with other private and public actors, promoting relevant policy actions and developing tools and strategies for implementation.
CO-CREATE partner organisations include university research departments, national public health institutions and a number of civil society organisations concerned with health policies and youth well-being. The project will build on existing initiatives and platforms, and construct new opportunities for youth engagement in the issue and youth participation in democratic moves for advocacy and policy change.
“We have access to large-scale datasets and policy monitoring tools, and will combine these with novel analytical approaches and youth involvement to provide new efficient strategies, tools and programmes for promoting sustainable and healthy behaviours,” said project leader, Professor Knut-Inge Klepp of the Norwegian Institute for Public Health. “The generated knowledge and innovative tools for assessing policy implementation, along with strategies for empowering adolescents, will help ensure that the policy proposals arising from this project will be effective and popular.”
The CO-CREATE Project has received funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research budget, shared between 14 research groups in six European countries plus Australia, South Afri\ca and the United States. The project will be completed in 2023.