nutrim division 1

NUTRIM Division I

Obesity, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Health

We develop strategies that allow to make healthy choices easier, to assist people in changing their lifestyle in order to improve their quality of life and to reduce the public health impact of metabolic diseases.

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Research Themes

Exercise, cold exposure, 24h rhythmicity and healthy diets play a role in the etiology of Obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These lifestyle factors provide options for the prevention and treatment of these metabolic diseases. Our goals are to create a better mechanistic understanding of their etiology, with a focus on human research.

Research Focus

In NUTRIM Division I, we try to understand why people are inactive and eat unhealthy food. And we research how pharmacological or lifestyle interventions can improve metabolic health. 

Using invasive and non-invasive techniques, we study how essential organs such as muscle, (brown) adipose tissue, liver and the heart are affected in overweight, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Research Impact

Changing habits and lifestyles is what are research tries to encourage. We have unique facilities to study human metabolism enabling us to perform translational research aimed at understanding the development of metabolic diseases. 

We investigate human physiology and develop intervention programmes together with relevant stakeholders and implement them in such a way that they are sustained over time. Examples are preventive programmes at elementary schools, in families, but also lifestyle coaching of adults with type 2 diabetes.



  • 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.

  • People with obesity are more likely to contract a severe case of COVID-19, and more likely to die from it. Gijs Goossens, associate professor of Human Biology, is studying whether drugs that lower blood pressure can reduce the risks.

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

More news items
  • 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 by Prof Ellen Blaak with coworkers Dr Gijs Goossens and Dr Tanja Adam.

  • 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 the day she left the room.

  • 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, Chen will spend a month in a specially designed room in Eindhoven.

  • 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.