Obesity, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Health
Obesity is one of the major risk factors for the development of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle factors, such as exercise, cold exposure and healthy diets can help in preventing the negative consequences of obesity.
In Division 1 of NUTRIM, we try to understand how interventions that improve physical activity, diet and other lifestyle factors can improve metabolic health. To this goal, we have world-unique equipment to study human energy and substrate metabolism in detail. 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 and type 2 diabetes. By performing human intervention studies, such as exercise training, weight loss or cold exposure, we then study the underlying mechanisms by which lifestyle improves metabolic health.
Our research is also directed at understanding why people are physically inactive and eat unhealthily. We need to answer these questions before we can help them in adopting healthier lifestyles. We develop intervention programmes together with relevant stakeholders and implement them in such a way that they are sustained over time. Think of preventive programs at elementary schools, in families, but also lifestyle coaching of adults with type 2 diabetes. Our goals are 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.
The unique facilities to study human metabolism gives NUTRIM an optimal setting to perform translational research aimed at understanding the development of metabolic diseases. By translating the fundamental knowledge to the real-world setting, we aim to make the difference for individuals and society. Integrating knowledge from the body and the mind, and applying it to promote public health brings the excitement that drives us.