nutrim division 1

NUTRIM Division 1

Obesity, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Health

Aim of NUTRIM's Division 1

We obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the effects of interventions on the development and consequences of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By developing strategies that make healthy choices easier, we assist people in changing their lifestyle in order to improve their quality of life and to reduce the public health impact of these metabolic diseases.

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Research Themes

Diet, physical (in)activity, sedentary behavior, environmental factors (temperature and oxygen availability), circadian rhythmicity, and genetics/genomics are factors that play a role in the etiology and prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

These factors provide opportunities for the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases. Our goals are to create a better mechanistic understanding of the effects of these interventions on the etiology of chronic diseases, with a strong focus on human research.

Research Focus

In NUTRIM Division 1, we try to understand how lifestyle and pharmacological interventions can improve cardiometabolic health. In addition, we also try to understand why people are inactive and eat unhealthy food, and explore possibilities to influence these choices.  Finally, we explore how biological factors such as metabolic phenotype and the individual genetic makeup influence the response to interventions.

We use this knowledge for tailoring interventions and steering recommendations. By using invasive and non-invasive techniques, we study how essential organs such as skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, blood vessels, liver, intestines, brain and the heart are involved in the development and treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Research Impact

Changing unhealthy habits and lifestyles, as well as maintaining healthy habits, is what our research ultimately tries to encourage. We have unique facilities to study human metabolism, enabling us to perform translational research aimed at understanding the development and treatment of metabolic diseases. 

We investigate human physiology and develop intervention programmes together with relevant stakeholders, and examine what is needed to implement them in such a way that they are sustained over time.

Collaborating departments, research performed in both basic and clinical departments*.

Collaborating Departments in NUTRIM's Division 1


  • Scientists from the Netherlands and Canada, led by Professor Patrick Schrauwen of Maastricht University, are to investigate whether lifestyle changes can help to restore the 24-hour rhythm of people at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Prof. dr. Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga received the ''2019 SSIB Distinguished Career Award, for her outstanding contributions to the understanding of ingestive behavior''.

  • A new study, led by researchers from the Universities of Liverpool and Copenhagen, has been launched to identify the risks and benefits of sugar replacements in the diet. The Department of Human Biology from Maastricht University is also a partner in this large European Initiative. The team is led...

More news items
  • Living and working from your bed; more and more people choose to live like this. But what does this do to you? Yiyun Chen lived horizontally for a month while being monitored by UM scientists. The UM video team visited Yiyun in the specially designed room in Eindhoven after two weeks and was there...

  • ligproject

    A month-long lie-in

    The chinese artist Yiyun Chen won together with UM scientists, Professor Patrick Schrauwen and Dr Vera Schrauwen-Hinderling of the Department of Nutrition and Human Movement Sciences, the BAD Award worth € 25,000, with which she will conduct an artistic / semi-scientific experiment. From 15 October...

  • A reversal of the day and night rhythm, due to shift work for example, leads to a disturbance in blood sugar levels. Scientists from Maastricht University have demonstrated this for the first time in humans.


Collaborating Departments, research performed in both basic and clinical* departments

Collaborating Departments in NUTRIM's Division 1