Big Data against Child Obesity

By using big data, the EU-funded BigO project aims to redefine the way policy strategies targeting childhood obesity are designed and deployed in European societies.

Graph showing BigO policy planner

Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major global and European public health problem. Currently, public actions are detached from local needs, mostly including indiscriminate blanket policies and single-element strategies, limiting their efficacy and effectiveness. The need for community-targeted actions has long been obvious, but the lack of monitoring and evaluation framework and the methodological inability to objectively quantify the local community characteristics, in a reasonable timeframe, has hindered that.

Big Data based Platform

Technological achievements in mobile and wearable electronics and Big Data infrastructures allow the engagement of European citizens in the data collection process, allowing us to reshape policies at a regional, national and European level. In BigO, that will be facilitated through the development of a platform, allowing the quantification of behavioural community patterns through Big Data provided by wearables and eHealth- devices.

Estimate child obesity through community data

BigO has set detailed scientific, technological, validation and business objectives in order to be able to build a system that collects Big Data on children’s behaviour and helps planning health policies against obesity. In addition, during the project, BigO will reach out to more than 25.000 school and age-matched obese children and adolescents as sources for community data. Comprehensive models of the obesity prevalence dependence matrix will be created, allowing the data-driven effectiveness predictions about specific policies on a community and the real-time monitoring of the population response, supported by powerful real-time data visualisations.

New policies are needed

BigO aims to redefine the way the existing obesity-related policy strategies targeting childhood obesity prevalence are designed and deployed in the European societies. It will provide an innovative new suite, allowing the Public Health Authorities to evaluate their communities based on their obesity prevalence risk and to take local action, based on objective evidence.


The project consortium includes research institutes, universities and industry experts from Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. This project is in line with the European Commission’s policy on the ‘Digital Transformation of Health and Care’, which aims to empower citizens and build a healthier society and it supports its second priority, namely enhancing personalised medicine through shared European infrastructure and better access to Health data. It will run for four years with a total EU budget of € 4,102,911.25.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No GA727816.

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