The general objective of this collaborative project (EPIC PANACEA) is to identify and describe the determinants of weight and weight changes and to develop specific recommendations and guidelines for the prevention of Obesity in Europe.
The specific objectives of the EPIC PANACEA project are to:
1) Describe cross-sectionaly, for men and women, in three age groups, for (Northern, Central, and Southern) European regions, the association between current weight and:
a) Physical Activity
b) Nutritional habits
c) Cessation of Smoking
d) Alcohol drinking and
e) Meals eating out of home.
2) Study, using follow-up data, the determinants of stable weight and weight changes in relation to all of the above;
3) Study the interrelations between the determinants of obesity and assess the quantitative contribution of each of them specifically.
The EPIC PANACEA study will reveal in-depth information on the current habits of obese people as well as on the determinants that are causally related to it. The assessment of the quantitative contribution of each of the determinants will address their relative importance in specific subpopulations. This may ultimately lead to specific guidelines and prevention strategies in different European regions or otherwise defined subpopulations.
To address this issue the project will profit from a unique collection of comparable data from 520,000 Europeans, men and women from 24 geographically different areas in 11 different countries and ranging in age from 35 to 70 years. These data were collected as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), co-financed by the European Commission.
This project will attempt to present a sound scientific basis for the development of integrated public health guidelines for obesity prevention. The concept is that healthy habits cannot be adopted by society in absence of adaptable public health policies designed with a sound understanding of the major determinants of obesity. Obesity prevention can play a major public health role in diminishing the incidence of major chronic diseases (cancer, CVD and diabetes) in Europe.