Chair of Preventive Pediatrics involved in major "PLAN'EAT" project to transform food system

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The large-scale project "PLAN'EAT" investigates the effects of a plant-based diet on the cardiovascular system
Prof. Dr. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, Head of the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics
Daniel Goeder, Research Associate at the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics
Prof. Dr. Edda Weimann, Medical Director of the Gaißach Specialist Clinic and Apl. Professor at TUM

The Chair of Preventive Pediatrics, headed by Prof. Dr. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, is to make a significant contribution to the further development of the food system. In collaboration with the Medical Director of the Gaißach Specialist Clinic and Apl. Professor at TUM, Prof. Dr. Edda Weimann, the project group is investigating the effects of a plant-based diet on the cardiovascular system. The large-scale project under the name "PLAN'EAT" is funded by the European Union with a total amount of 12 million euros, of which the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics receives 500,000 euros.

The EU food system is under considerable pressure to change due to its negative impact on climate, environment and health. A change in the dietary habits of millions of Europeans is needed. The research groups therefore focus in different "Living Labs" on the dietary behavior of different population groups, as a determinant of food consumption. The results will be used to gain a basic understanding of current conditions and to develop effective recommendations, tools and interventions for food system actors.

The team from the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics is focusing on vegan diets. Specifically, they are researching how a plant-based diet, and potentially resulting weight loss, affects the cardiovascular status of overweight children and adolescents. The six-week inpatient obesity program at the Gaißach Specialist Clinic serves as a "Living Lab" for this purpose. "So far, our program has covered components such as sports, psychological support and general nutritional counseling," explains Prof. Weimann from the Gaißach Specialist Clinic. "When I took over the management of the Clinic three years ago, I successively changed the diet in the Specialist Clinic, introduced a vegetarian day and we offer more ecological and local products. For this we have been awarded international sustainability and innovation prizes. For the application to the EU Horizon 2020 study, the already existing research cooperation with the working group of Prof. Oberhoffer-Fritz was ideally suited. For the study, we will additionally offer a group the possibility of a plant-based dietary change. I am very happy that we will conduct this study together with Prof. Oberhofer-Fritz's research team."

In addition to a positive effect on the vascular health of the study participants, the scientists hope for long-term health benefits: "Children and adolescents, in contrast to adults, are easier to get used to a change in diet. Convincing them of the benefits and good taste of a healthy diet can have a lasting impact on weight development throughout their lives," says Prof. Oberhoffer-Fritz, Dean of the Department of Sport and Health Sciences.

Initial results from the "Living Lab" are expected in the middle of next year, with final results expected after the project's four-year duration is complete. Daniel Goeder, Research Associate at the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics, is hopeful until then: "Plant-based nutrition has many advantages - not only for our own health. We hope that our project will provide another scientifically proven argument to further enthuse society about this form of nutrition."
 

To the homepage of the Chair of Preventive Pediatrics

 

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz
Chair of Preventive Pediatrics
Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62
80992 München

phone: 089 289 24574
e-mail: praeventive-paediatrie(at)tum.de

Daniel Goeder
Chair of Preventive Pediatrics
Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62
80992 München

phone: 089 289 24575
e-mail: daniel.goeder(at)tum.de


Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: "PLAN'EAT"/Andreas Heddergott/TUM/privat