German Competence in Obesity Research

This weekend, I attended the joint meeting of the German Societies for Obesity and Diabetes. Apart from delivering a talk at a SCOPE course, I also participated in a session focussing on research networks – my task was to present to introduce the audience to the Canadian Obesity Network.

Since 2008, the German Ministry of Education and Research has provided funding for a German Competence Network for Obesity (Kompetenznetzwerk Adipostas), which will likely recieve up to € 50 million in funding over the next 12 years.

An estimated 16 million Germans are currently obese and annual obesity healthcare costs for obesity may exceed € 13 billion.

The Network consists of 8 research teams and almost 40 different research projects that cover everything from basic research, prevention, etiology, epidemiology, sociology and treatments.

Not only should this significant investment help increase the breadth, depth and visibility of German obesity research but also help move research findings into practice.

I was most impressed to hear about some of the ongoing projects that include cutting edge work in psychosocial determinants of obesity, adipose tissue biology, and diagnostic imaging.

The audience was most impressed by the work done by the Canadian Obesity Network in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and we do hope to strengthen the ties between the German and Canadian networks in the coming months and years.

Berlin, Germany