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European Obesity Day

18 May 2018 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | Europe

Crédits: Adobe Stock

Friday, May 18 is European Obesity Day. A day to raise the awareness of healthcare players, caregivers and patients of this issue which affects more than 650 million people worldwide.

According to WHO, 13% of adults worldwide were obese in 2014, a figure which had doubled since 1980.

Obesity is often diagnosed using the body mass index (BMI), a calculation that estimates body fat. BMI is a person’s weight (in kg) divided by the square of their height (in meters). Apart from the psychological and social discomfort generated by this chronic condition, it also leads to health problems, primarily type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.


Teams from Inserm are mobilized to advance research in this field.

Nutri-score: a new nutritional aid for the consumer

A team of researchers (Inserm/ Inra/ Cnam/ Université Paris 13) led by Serge Hercberg, has revealed via a study published in the journal Nutrients  that this 5 color (5-C) nutrition label is the most effective nutritional information system for enabling consumers to recognize and compare the nutritional quality of foods, including those from “at risk” populations (older subjects, those with a low educational level, low income, poor nutritional knowledge, and overweight or obese individuals).

Following this study and as part of the 2016 Health Act, the French government recommended the deployment of Nutri-Score in order to improve product nutrition information and thereby help consumers to buy foods of better nutritional quality.

Read our press release: “The 5-colour nutritional labelling system is the most effective for consumers”


Online coaching for abdominal obesity

A study coordinated by Dr. Boris Hansel and Prof. Ronan Roussel, shows that online nutritional coaching – an automated nutritional support program – improves dietary habits and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes and abdominal obesity.

The results show a significant increase in the dietary score in the online coaching group (+5.25 points) in comparison with the control group (-1.83) on average.

Read our press release: “Efficacy of online nutritional coaching in patients with type 2 diabetes and abdominal obesity”

And because good health also depends on good diet and exercise, consult our nutrition and health report (only available in French) on the Inserm website.

These contents could be interesting :

Researcher Contact

Serge Hercberg

Unité 1153 “Centre de recherche épidémiologie et statistique sorbonne paris cité – CRESS“

Equipe de recherche en épidémiologie nutritionnelle (EREN)

01 48 38 89 32


Barbara Heude, Pauline Scherdel et Martin Chalumeau

Unité 1153 “Centre de recherche épidémiologie et statistique Sorbonne paris cité – CRESS”

Equipes “Origines précoces de la santé du développement de l’enfant” et “Équipe de recherche en épidémiologie obstétricale, périnatale et pédiatrique” (Inserm/Université Paris Descartes)

et pour Martin Chalumeau

Service de pédiatrie générale et maladies infectieuses pédiatriques, hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, AP-HP


Boris Hansel

Unité U1138 “Centre de recherche des cordeliers“

Physiopathologie et traitement des maladies vasculaires et rénales liées au diabète et à la nutrition.

01 44 27 63 93