Overweight is the largest and most prevalent modifiable risk factor for health problems, and significantly contributes to healthcare costs. Researchers generally agree that overweight is multifactorially determined, including biomedical, behavioral, environmental, and psychological mechanisms. Though there is evidence for each of these mechanisms on average, there is much variability among people. This suggests that contributing factors to overweight likely differ across people. That is, other than a high BMI, people with obesity may have less in common than is often assumed, with likely considerable individual variation in the causal and maintenance factors contributing to their higher BMI.
Similarly, treatments for overweight are, on average, only modestly effective and individual variability in weight-loss-response to treatment is large. To move towards personalized interventions in overweight and obesity, this project will—in a large sample of individuals varying in bodyweight—assess a comprehensive set of personal, biological, psychological, environmental, and behavioral variables that have been identified as important causal and maintenance factors for overweight and obesity. The ultimate goal of personalized treatment is to match each individual to their optimal treatment option (e.g., lifestyle intervention, bariatric surgery, pharmacological intervention), based on their comprehensive individual profile. This project will take a first step in this direction, and tests whether the effectiveness of an intensive lifestyle intervention depends on the comprehensive profiles.
This project is funded by the Dutch Research Council – VICI scheme.