Childhood obesity – what are the root causes of the growing pandemic? | World Obesity Federation

Childhood obesity – what are the root causes of the growing pandemic?

Jun 29, 2021

Training & EventsEventsChildhood obesity – what are the root causes of the growing pandemic?

Today, childhood obesity numbers are nearly doubling every 10 years and it is estimated that 158 million children aged 5-19 years are living with obesity globally; a number projected to reach 254 million in 2030.

In light of these trends, bold and novel interventions are urgently needed. People living with obesity are often blamed for their condition and told that the answer is to ‘eat less and move more'. However, the root causes of obesity run much deeper and can be genetic, psychological, sociocultural, economic and environmental.

We are delighted to welcome you to the second event of the World Café series hosted by European projects STOP, CO-CREATE, PEN and JA Best-ReMaP. Prof Franco Sassi, Principal Investigator, STOP project will facilitate a discussion that explores the root causes of childhood obesity and the state of evidence on childhood obesity determinants, including the policies to address the determinants of the growing pandemic.

The event will showcase preliminary findings from the STOP project's research on prenatal and early life influences on childhood obesity, the epigenetic, metabolic determinants of obesity and more.

  • Date: Tuesday 29 June 2021
  • Time: 13:00 - 14:00 CEST


  1. To increase understanding of prenatal and early life influence on childhood obesity related outcomes.
  2. To investigate the impact of the built environment, such as food availability and the impact of exposure to pollutants on childhood obesity-related outcomes.
  3. To present recommendations for immediate action across the obesity spectrum from prevention to treatment, within the context of COVID-19.
  4. To identify causal pathways to guide the prevention of obesity in children.
  • Professor Franco Sassi, Professor of International Health Policy and Economics, Imperial College London
  • Dr Josep A Tur, CIBER, University of the Balearic Islands
  • Dr Oliver Robinson, Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology, Imperial College London
  • Dr Elisa Pineda, Doctor in Epidemiology and Public Health Nutrition, Imperial College London
  • Professor Paolo Vineis, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Imperial College London
  • Margot Neveux, Senior Policy Manager, World Obesity Federation
  • Dr Natalie Savona, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

(All timings are displayed in CEST)

13:00-13:10  Welcome and introductions – Prof Franco Sassi

13:10-13:20  Prenatal and early influences – how do they affect childhood obesity outcomes? – Dr Josep A Tur

13:20-13:30  The epigenetic and metabolic determinants of obesity – Dr Oliver Robinson

13:30-13:40  What is the role of the built environment on children’s obesity-related outcomes? – Dr Elisa Pineda

13:40-13:55  Panel discussion: The state of evidence on childhood obesity determinants - setting the future agenda. – Margot Neveux, Dr Natalie Savona, Prof Paolo Vineis

13:55-14:00  Closing remarks – Prof Franco Sassi

This event has received support from two projects receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grants agreement No 774210 and 774548, the European Union’s Health Programme, and the Joint Programming Initiative.