14 December 2022

Top scientists from UCPH and Oxford get DKK 180 million to research obesity


Worldwide, more and more people are suffering from obesity. Now a group of top researchers has received a great grant to develop new treatment.

Scientists have received a big grant to research on new treatments for people who are obese. Photo: Canva.

Today, approximately one third of the world's population is obese, and that number is increasing. It not only has consequences for the individual but also for society, as obesity leads to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Now a group of top researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Oxford University, University of Southern Denmark and selected Danish municipalities has the opportunity to research how to solve the problem.

For Center for General Practice and all of Institute for Public Health - and me - it is a great joy, but also liberating that it has now landed

Frans Boch Waldorff, Centre Director and Professor

The researchers have received DKK 180 million for the Lighthouse Consortium on Obesity Management (LightCOM) research project from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The project's focus is to develop, implement and evaluate new obesity management programmes that will be offered to people with obesity. The programmes, which will be tested in both Denmark and the United Kingdom.

”For Center for General Practice and all of Institute for Public Health - and me - it is a great joy, but also liberating that it has now landed," says Centre Director and Professor at Department for Public Health at University of Copenhagen Frans Boch Waldorff and adds:

"The project is so important because it is based on the patient and, not least, the daily situation that the citizen and general practitioner - i.e. the family doctor - find themselves in. At the same time, it is a project that will look at many different ways to deal with patients with obesity. Only in this way can you find solutions that meet the wishes of the citizen, and at the same time examine whether these solutions actually work.”

Development and testing of two different programmes

The LightCOM project comprises development and testing of two independent programmes: an intensive weight-loss programme and a weight-neutral programme.

The intensive weight-loss programme is intended to ensure extensive and sustained weight loss as well as improved physical and mental health. This programme will undergo randomised controlled clinical trials in both Denmark and the United Kingdom.

The weight-neutral programme will not aim to reduce the weight of the people who participate. Instead, the programme will focus on improving people’s health-related quality of life by focusing on body acceptance, eating patterns and physical activity. This programme will take place as a pilot study in Denmark.

Both programmes will make use of digital solutions and innovative health technology solutions, and in parallel with the research, health economic analysis will examine the cost–effectiveness of both programmes. In addition, an implementation study will investigate the optimal settings for potentially implementing solutions that can be used immediately within the healthcare systems in Denmark and the United Kingdom.

"Linked to our grant we also will investigate the possibilities of a municipally anchored HUB solution to deliver the various programs as well as a comprehensive process evaluation that goes across the entire overall LigthCOM project," says Frans Boch Waldorff.


Centre Director and Professor Frans Boch Waldorff
+45 35 32 71 29

Journalist and press consultant Liva Polack
+45 23 68 03 89