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OBesity Training And INformation Services for Europe [OBTAINS-E] [671355] - Operating Grant
Project abstract

The World Obesity Federation is a registered charity based in England with professional member organisations in 21 EU and 5 other European countries. Although our work addresses issues beyond the European Region, in this FPA and SGA, we seek support only for our European-focused activities which are directly relevant to the Community’s 3rd Health Programme.

In this respect our general objectives are (i) to ensure overweight people in Europe receive the best available support for weight management and prevention of comorbid disease, (ii) to reduce obesity prevalence in European populations through prevention strategies, and (iii) to take due account of socio-demographic inequalities in the use of health services and in response to prevention initiatives.

To fulfil these objectives, we offer web-based training for professional obesity treatment and weight management, which will be provided by recognised experts and available to practitioners across the Community’s health services. We also provide data and policy dissemination activities for the development of obesity prevention strategies in the European region.

Our work programme 2015-2017 includes expanding our web-based training programme for health professionals and translating modules into European languages, developing a data portal for adult and child prevalence statistics in the region, and updating and extending our mapping service of European policy and community intervention activities.

These activities are relevant to the 3rd Health Programme’s specific objective 1 for cost-effective disease prevention (especially to identify, disseminate and promote evidence-based and good practices for cost-effective disease prevention and health promotion), and specific objective 3 for building health systems (especially to address shortage of resources, develop cross-border expertise and facilitate innovation in public health interventions and prevention strategies).

Summary of context, overal objectives, strategic, relevance and contribution of the action

The evidence base for the rise in obesity in Europe and the consequential disease burden and health service costs are widely understood. Our actions respond to this rising health crisis, firstly by supporting effective treatment of already-obese adults in the EU, disseminating the evidence for effective treatment methods and best practices across the region, to ensure a high level of professional skill in health service delivery and addressing inequalities in access and use of health services, Secondly, we respond by supporting strategies for obesity prevention to achieve long-term impacts on improving health and economic wellbeing, providing reliable evidence and accessible information and disseminating policy- and practice-relevant data.

Our objectives during 2015 are the expansion of our web-based professional training course, SCOPE, and making the course more widely available by offering it in multiple European languages; backed up by SCOPE schools to be held in two Member States. In addition, in 2015 we are developing the evidence base on obesity prevalence and obesity prevention initiatives by providing facts, figures, graphics, and downloadable presentations in multiple European languages, along with interactive maps for policy development and community interventions.

Methods and means

In 2015 we plan to commission additional modules for our web-based professional training course, SCOPE, and translate existing English-language modules into French, Spanish and Portuguese. Two SCOPE schools are planned, to be held in different Member States including one with a lower income population. We plan to add to the evidence base by making available downloadable graphics on obesity prevalence by age and gender in European MS and subregions, and also analyse data by socio-economic variables. We also plan to develop interactive maps for policy development and community interventions. A large proportion of this material will be translated into French.

Work performed during the reporting period

In 2015 we have undertaken the following development work with the results described:

• SCOPE online course publicised and approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.
• Six new SCOPE modules commissioned and produced (three published in 2015, three in draft to be published early 2016).
• SCOPE course modules translated from English into French and Spanish (published early 2016).
• Two 2-day SCOPE Schools organised and run (one in London UK, June 2015, and one in Thassaloniki, Greece, September 2015) each attracting around 40 participants.
• More than 40 new graphics and tables prepared, checked and published online, freely available for downloading. Includes more than 10 new graphics concerned with social inequalities.
• Graphics translation from English into French (commissioned in 2015, to be published in January 2016).
• All current maps updated 2015 and revised versions published online.
• At least ten new national prevalence maps and graphics showing obesity data linked to social inequalities (income, education, neighbourhood deprivation) designed and published online.
• At least five policy-related interactive maps designed and published online.
• Interactive maps and database portal showing at least 80 community interventions, covering at least 22 EU Member States, developed and published online.

The main output achieved so far and their potential impact and use by target group (including benefits)

Operational objective 1: SCOPE module development

Target groups:
• Intermediate: health professionals seeking wider understanding of obesity causes and treatments; health service managers seeking best available evidence; journals for health professionals; health professional standards bodies.
• Ultimate: patients seeking help with weight management and obesity treatment.

Outcome indicators/impact:
• Modules and SCOPE course recognised by health professional organisations and clinical standards bodies
• Modules and SCOPE course approved for CPD and CME credits
• Increase in number of SCOPE-certified course completions and Fellowships

Operational objective 2: Two SCOPE Schools

Target groups:
As above, with particular emphasis on participative learning and the exchange of information, case studies and experiences.

Outcome indicators/impact:
• Professional recognition
• SCOPE Schools approved for CPD and CME credits

Operational objective 3: Data portal development

Target groups:
• Intermediate: journalists, students, scientists, non-governmental organisations, advocacy groups, policy-developers
• Ultimate: EU citizens benefitting from healthier lifestyle policies and health-promoting environments

Outcome indicators/impact:
• Feedback from site users; number of visitors and downloads
• Download numbers increased on previous year
• Cited use of data increased on previous year

Operational objective 4: Interactive mapping and Atlas development

Target groups:
As above, with a focus on policy-development officials, advocates and health promotion professionals wanting to compare and evaluate policies and interventions

Outcome indicators/impact:
• Feedback from users; number of site visitors
• Number of users increased on previous year

Achieved outcomes compared to the expected outcomes

Operational objective 1: SCOPE module development

Outcome indicators/impact in 2015:
• Six new modules planned: Four new modules were initiated and completed in 2015 and two were initiated in 2015 and completed in early 2016.
• All existing modules were translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese
• Modules and SCOPE course have been recognized by several professional bodies (see Evaluation below)
• The SCOPE course has been approved for CPD
• There has been a year-on-year increase in number of SCOPE-certified course completions and Fellowships

Operational objective 2: Two SCOPE Schools

Outcome indicators/impact in 2015:
• Two SCOPE Schools were run (in London and Thessalonika)
• SCOPE Schools have been approved for CPD

Operational objective 3: Data portal development

Outcome indicators/impact in 2015:
• The number of site visitors and downloads increased significantly from previous years
• There is no information on the use that is made of the downloads

Operational objective 4: Interactive mapping and Atlas development

Outcome indicators/impact in 2015:
• Number of site visitors and users increased significantly from previous years
• The website's interactive maps were used extensively for the launch of the first World Obesity Day (October 11th 2015)

Dissemination and evaluation activities carried out so far and their major results


World Obesity Federation maintains a fortnightly news bulletin, a monthly general newsletter and a monthly members update. The OBTAINS-E activities have featured frequently in all these publications.

The SCOPE course has been widely disseminated and attracted attendees to the SCOPE Schools held in Greece and the UK.

The data portal and mapping services have featured in World Obesity Federation press releases, national popular and professional media, reports from the WHO and OECD, and in FP7 project reports and H2020 project applications.


The number of users gaining SCOPE Certification has continued to grow at a healthy rate. In 2015 we:
• Registered 38 new SCOPE Certified course completers (target was a minimum of 30), compared with 33 in 2014.
• Registered a further 2,076 course visitors (target was one thousand).
• SCOPE page views increased by 17% in 2015 compared to 2014 (no target set). Unique page views increased by 20%
• We achieved recognition and recommendations from reputable clinical bodies (no target set). These include increased mentions and recommendations from governmental bodies along with the development of accredited e-learning modules in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom. SCOPE continues to be endorsed by the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) service, by the UK Association for Nutrition, by Public Health England (NHS England commissioning guidelines 2013/2014), by the Royal College of Physicians and by the Royal College of General Practitioners. We are also endorsed by over 50 national obesity organizations globally.

• More than 100 downloadable graphics are now available on the website (target was 60), including prevalence in country by age or region.
• More than 50 graphics indicate obesity or overweight prevalence by socio-economic variables such as education, economic status and measure of neighbourhood or household deprivation (target was 10).
• The interactive database has information for all 22 member states in the European Union and shows information on polices in one or more of the following selectable sub-categories: Diet and Nutrition; Marketing Policies and Regulations; Food and Beverage Taxes; Physical Activity; Obesity Prevention and Treatment. The maps also include access to the database of more than 100 community-based multi-component interventions (target was 80).
Number of site visitors increased significantly over the year, with an average of 3000 visits per month to the downloadable graphics (previous year was 1000 per month) and 8000 visits per month to the interactive maps (previous average was 2500 per month).