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A consortium of 14 research and advocacy organisations, amongst which the Universities of Amsterdam, Oslo, Cape Town and Bergen, as well as the World Obesity Federation and World Cancer Research Fund, have launched a ground-breaking project involving young people themselves to tackle overweight and obesity.

The project, titled CO-CREATE, will work with adolescents to create, inform and disseminate policies to tackle obesity among their peers. The project will use a societal systems approach to understand how factors associated with obesity interact at various levels. The project focuses on adolescence as a crucial age-group with increasing autonomy and soon to be the next generation of adults, parents and policymakers, and thus important agents for change.

CO-CREATE aims to involve and empower adolescents and youth organizations to foster a participatory process of identifying and formulating relevant policies, assessing the options with other private and public actors, promoting relevant policy actions and developing tools and strategies for implementation.

CO-CREATE partner organisations include university research departments, national public health institutions and a number of civil society organisations concerned with health policies and youth well-being. The project will build on existing initiatives and platforms, and construct new opportunities for youth engagement in the issue and youth participation in democratic moves for advocacy and policy change.

Hans Brug, dean of the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, is one of the consortium's leaders. Christian Bröer, associate professor and researcher at the department of Sociology at the UvA, is project leader of one of the subproject. Evelyne Baillergeau and Sherria Ayuandini will work on the project as post-docs. Also Jan Willem Duyvendak, professor of Sociology, was involved in the project application. 

Supported by the European Commission, the budget of over €9.5m will provide a programme of activities for a five-year period 2018-2023.