The Nutrition and Obesity Epidemiology Research Group is part of the Epidemiology Research Unit (EPIUnit) (UID/DTP/04750/2013) at the Institute of Public Health, University of Porto (ISPUP). It integrates 20 PhD members and its main goal is the study of nutrition and other behavioural factors and their relation with population health. Futhermore, the EPIUnit-ISPUP runs several research structures and projects namely the population based-cohorts (e.g. Generation XXI, EPITeen, Birth Cohort of Twins), a Biobank comprising phenotypically well characterized biological samples of subjects and several databases from prospective and transversal population studies, namely, the database from the National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (IAN-AF,2015/2016) (EEAGrants/000088SI3).
The Nutrition and Obesity Epidemiology Research Group has been using emergent methodologies as risk-benefit assessment (RBA) of foods to evaluate the beneficial and adverse health effects of food consumption through a multidisciplinary integrated approach. These methodologies allow a comprehensive health impact assessment by linking knowledge on nutrition, toxicology, microbiology, chemistry and epidemiology in a single methodology through comparable impact measures. The inclusion of environmental sustainability as a domain of RBA of foods is still a challenge but it should be regarded as a complement to the current RBA of foods, broadening its scope beyond health effects of food intakes. RBA should be regarded as a valuable tool for policy decision-making to prevent disease and promote public health.
This kind of data and expertise will be shared in SYSTEMIC project, specifically under the activities of task 3.4 (WP3) and WP5 to understand the consequences of changing the nutrition composition and diets in health and to propose adaptive strategies to ensure global and European food and nutrition security.