Big Data Against Childhood Obesity
Big data against childhood Obesity
The number of children and adolescents with obesity is high and still increasing. These children have a higher risk of developing various diseases later on, compared to children without obesity. The reasons why some children become obese are complex. Behaviour is, amongst others, influenced by many factors in the living environment (such as transportation options, food advertisements, safety, food prices, et cetera). In turn, the living environment is affected by public health policies. Combined, these are components that determine obesity rates.
BigO collects and analyses anonymous data on children's behavioural patterns and their living environment. By using advanced analytics and sophisticated visualizations BigO extracts data-driven evidence on which local factors are involved, and how these factors influence childhood obesity in Europe. BigO is envisioned as a tool for the local public health authorities, by acting as an open platform.
This is done in various steps. School aged children become citizen scientists by collecting data about their behavioural patterns and local environment, with myBigOapp. This data is anonymized and used to create complex statistical models to analyse how behaviour and the environment influence obesity prevalences. This anonymous information can be used to predict how policy changes could influence obesity rates, and can be used to compare different communities on group level.
With this information BigO will be able to advice clinics and public health authorities on how to develop and plan effective programs and policies in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity. BigO aims to redefine the way obesity-related policy strategies are designed and used in European societies.
Video providing an overview of the BigO project
Privacy is a main point of attention within the entire project, especially because we are working with children and adolescents. In short: no information is directly traceable to an individual. Geolocation information that is collected via the app is temporarily stored on the BigO servers to extract generalised and statistical data from which individuals cannot be detected. Then it is permanently removed from the BigO servers. On photographs collected via the app, faces are not allowed. Administrators also check the photographs for irrelevant or indecent content, before it becomes available on the portals. All data that is stored and sent is done so deidentified, anonymised, encrypted and secured. For more information check our security flyer below.