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Health nurses’ prevention of obesity from infancy

The initiatives seek to support and guide new parents in matters of early risk factors for child obesity and mental health problems. 

Project data

Grant amount
DKK 30.7 million


Maja Lund
Senior Project Manager, Social & Humanitarian, Novo Nordisk Foundation

The guidance provided by health nurses is more than welcome to most new parents faced with a new reality with a small baby. In 2020, the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) received two grants from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to develop new evidence-based methods for health nurses, enabling them to further improve the guidance they provide.

The projects will address the growing need for advice on physical and mental health among new parents and develop new methods to help parents on ensuring healthy weight development in their child.

In total, the Foundation awarded DKK 30 million for the two initiatives, which are running over five years and will be tested in 35 municipalities. If they are shown to work well, there will be grounds to expand them across all municipalities.

The Healthy Childhood Trial aims to develop a new, evidence-based way for healthcare providers to support and guide parents in relation to early risk factors for later obesity in their children. The goal is to develop a concrete program that will in the long run ensure that more children have a healthy weight development throughout childhood.

The second initiative, Infant Health, aims to develop a new method to reduce the risk of mental health problems and obesity among the most vulnerable children. The project’s focus is to train health nurses to help parents understand and accommodate developmental vulnerability in their child and to help regulate eating, sleep, and emotional reactions.

DKK 10.7 million was awarded to Professor Morten Grønbæk from the National Institute of Public Health for the Healthy Childhood Trial project.

DKK 20 million was awarded to Professor Anne Mette Skovgaard, also from the National Institute of Public Health, for the Infant Health project.