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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an epidemiologist and senior researcher with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Amsterdam UMC location VUmc.

I lead a small but ambitious centre of expertise on environmental determinants of physical activity, dietary behaviours and chronic disease riskin adults: 'the Upstream Team'. 

My research interests are in the individual and environmental determinants of lifestyle behaviours and chronic disease risk, in particular how they can be measured, how they interact and how they can be changed.

I obtained my PhD in 2011 with the thesis 'Efforts to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in primary care'. Before that I studied physiotherapy (University of Utrecht, finished 2002), Health science (VU University, finished 2004) and a two-year master Public Health Research (VU University, completed 2006).

As project leader I finished an NDF-funded research project focusing on the implementation of environmental changes to improve lifestyle behaviours in residents of underprivileged neighbourhoods. I coordinated SPOTLIGHT, an EU-FP7 funded project focusing on the sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies. This project involved a consortium of 13 partners across 8 European countries.

I co-managed the Determinants of diet and physical activity knowledge hub (DEDIPAC KH) which was led by Prof. J. Brug. The DEDIPAC KH  consisted of about 300 researchers from multiple disciplines, originating from 68 research institutes across 13 European countries. It facilitated the integration and development of an infrastructure for research on determinants of diet and physical activity.

In 2017 we started a large national study on preventing cardiometabolic risk through nudging healthy eating and physical activity in supermarkets and through m-health (Supreme Nudge, please see its dedicated website for more information).

I am the PI of the cross-national Geohealth cohort consortium (GECCO), an infrastructure to support researchers to study the relation between environmental characteristics and health. We have gathered and operationalised many data on environmental exposures over many years. We enrich 23 large cohorts that are currently affiliated with GECCO, and provide these data to researchers upon request.

Other projects we are currently running include the Policy Evaluation Network (PEN), a JPI similar to DEDIPAC but with a focus on identifying, benchmarking and evaluating policies related to dietary behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviours (www.jpi-pen.eu). I server as vice-coordinator of this network, for which a total funding amount of about 4M Euros has been secured. Other projects are ENDEAVOR, a project focusing on environmental determinants of lifestyle behaviors and risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and together with Sanquin Donor Studies we are exploring the upstream determinants of lifestyle behaviours and donor blood quality.

Take a look,the Upstream Team website and latest publications.

Follow me on TwitterResearchGate or LinkedIn

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Research Output

Advancing the evidence base for public policies impacting on dietary behaviour, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in Europe: The Policy Evaluation Network promoting a multidisciplinary approach

Lakerveld, J., Woods, C., Hebestreit, A., Brenner, H., Flechtner-Mors, M., Harrington, J. M., Kamphuis, C. B. M., Laxy, M., Luszczynska, A., Mazzocchi, M., Murrin, C., Poelman, M., Steenhuis, I., Roos, G., Steinacker, J. M., Stock, C. C., van Lenthe, F., Zeeb, H., Zukowska, J. & Ahrens, W., 1 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Food Policy. 101873.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Neighbourhood drivability: environmental and individual characteristics associated with car use across Europe

den Braver, N. R., Kok, J. G., Mackenbach, J. D., Rutter, H., Oppert, J-M., Compernolle, S., Twisk, J. W. R., Brug, J., Beulens, J. W. J. & Lakerveld, J., 17 Jan 2020, In : International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 17, 1, p. 8 8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Urban-rural differences in the association between blood lipids and characteristics of the built environment: A systematic review and meta-Analysis

de Groot, R., van den Hurk, K., Schoonmade, L. J., de Kort, W. L. A. M., Brug, J. & Lakerveld, J., 1 Jan 2019, In : BMJ Global Health. 4, 1, e001017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Determinants of diet and physical activity (DEDIPAC): A summary of findings

Brug, J., van der Ploeg, H. P., Loyen, A., Ahrens, W., Allais, O., Andersen, L. F., Cardon, G., Capranica, L., Chastin, S., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., De Craemer, M., Donnelly, A., Ekelund, U., Finglas, P., Flechtner-Mors, M., Hebestreit, A., Kubiak, T., Lanza, M., Lien, N., MacDonncha, C. & 15 others, Mazzocchi, M., Monsivais, P., Murphy, M., Nicolaou, M., Nöthlings, U., O'Gorman, D. J., Renner, B., Roos, G., van den Berg, M., Schulze, M. B., Steinacker, J. M., Stronks, K., Volkert, D., Lakerveld, J. & on behalf of the DEDIPAC consortium, 3 Nov 2017, In : International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 14, 1, 150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

The Upstream Determinants of Adult Obesity

Lakerveld, J. & Mackenbach, J., 1 Jul 2017, In : Obesity Facts. 10, 3, p. 216-222 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review