News & Events

UCD initiates Delphi Panel study to establish key indicators for monitoring and evaluating childhood obesity

UCD initiates Delphi Panel study to establish key indicators for monitoring and evaluating childhood obesity

BigO consortium partner, University College Dublin (UCD), is working to engage with leading public health authorities throughout Europe to co-develop a technological system that would be useful to public health authorities for monitoring childhood obesity and evaluating population-level prevention/treatment approaches.

To achieve this, they are carrying out a Delphi Panel study with experts in the field of public health to establish the key indicators or measures that are a priority for the monitoring and evaluation of childhood obesity over the next 5 – 10 years across Europe. This panel of experts will consist of 10-15 individuals who have a direct influence over the development and implementation of policies aimed at reducing childhood obesity in BigO participating countries ( Sweden, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain).

The information gathered as a result of this study will go on directly to inform the parameters of the BigO data monitoring system which will be initially rolled out in Sweden, Greece, Ireland and The Netherlands and then later across Europe.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
The Mando Group delivers training to the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital on the Mandometer Method

The Mando Group delivers training to the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital on the Mandometer Method

On April 3-4, the Mando Group met with the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin to provide training on the Mandometer Method for normalising eating behaviour and teaching people identify and re-establish hunger and satiety signals.  The Mandometer device will be used in upcoming BigO pilot studies to collect data on the eating behaviour of children and adolescents in clinical populations in Ireland and in Sweden.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
123 meal pictures uploaded to BigO servers in pilot at Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni high school in Greece

123 meal pictures uploaded to BigO servers in pilot at Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni high school in Greece

On Thursday 22 March, 10 students from Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni (EKP) high school in Greece were given smartwatches to use in conjunction with the BigO app to collect data on physical activity, food consumption, food advertising encountered in everyday life, and other metrics over a two-week period.  A total of 123 meal pictures, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, were uploaded to the BigO servers during this period!

Today (Thursday 29 March), 10 new students received smartwatches and will use the BigO system for the next two weeks.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Data collection pilot at Ellinogermaniki Agogi elementary school in Athens commences

Data collection pilot at Ellinogermaniki Agogi elementary school in Athens commences

On Friday 16 March, 18 9-year old children from Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) elementary school in Athens received smartwatches and were given instructions for their parents to download and use the BigO app on their mobile phones and connect to their child’s smartwatch.  Nine children have successfully registered, and we have been receiving meal pictures as well as physical activity and other data on the BigO servers.

The EA team is following-up with the parents, and in collaboration with MySphera and Aristotale University of Thessaloniki, they are addressing questions and issues that as they arise.  This feedback is being recorded and will help optimize the technical features and procedures for large scale data collection next year.

Two more schools, IEGS in Sweden and EKP in Greece, will be enrolling high school students very soon!

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
BigO presents at Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting in Greece

BigO presents at Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting in Greece

In February 2018, the BigO team presented the current version of the BigO app and offered hands on demonstrations to attendees at an Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting at the Technical High School 1st EPAL KALAMARIAS in Thessaloniki, Greece.  The meeting consisted of 36 students and 9 teachers from the I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Adama Mickiewicza w Białymstoku in Poland, the Istituto Omnicompresivo “DANTE ALIGHIERI” Nocera Umbra in Italy and the hosting school in Greece. The feedback received was very positive!

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Swedish high school students use the BigO system for their school project

Swedish high school students use the BigO system for their school project

Twenty-five students from the IEGS high school in Stockholm, acting as ‘citizen scientists’, used the BigO app to photograph and map all the advertisements they encountered in three geographic Stockholm regions with distinctly different demographics. Afterwards the students analysed the collected pictures in order to quantify the types of advertisements per region. The students focused on the percentage of food advertisements in relation to the total number of advertisements, in each of these areas.

Posted by Mando
Pre-pilot confirms operability of data collection technology

Pre-pilot confirms operability of data collection technology

Students aged 15-16 at the IEGS high school in Stockholm have, since November 14th, been using the BigO app to photograph and upload food advertisements that they encounter in their everyday life.

As of December 8th, a total of 367 images have been uploaded and the collection points can be viewed on the community portal (http://gateway.mysphera.com:28080/dist/#/map).

Reports are that some 80% of the uploaded pictures are classified as valid data collection points, and that no app glitches have been observed.

The next test will involve some 25 students from the same high school, designated to map all the advertisements in certain geographical regions, with the students acting as “scientists”. The 3 regions of Stockholm that have been selected represent areas with significantly different socioeconomic characteristics and also significantly different overweight and obesity prevalence.

The projected dates for data collection would be December 13-14-15 and the data analysis will be carried out December 18-19.

“This type of deployment could be the basis of a very focused use case for the public health authorities, and the collected data will help to initiate the development of the BigO analytics  too.”, says Pre-Pilot Coordinator in Sweden, Dr. Ioannis Ioakeimidis

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
First students in The Netherlands have been acting as citizen scientists

First students in The Netherlands have been acting as citizen scientists

On Friday November 24th, five young citizen scientists (12-14 years old) have participated in a pilot in the Netherlands. During 45 minutes they captured food advertisements in shopping area of the city centre of Ede (~112,000 inhabitants, 318.6 km²). The purpose was to see whether children can help us in collecting data on their own food environment, but more importantly how we can intrinsically motivate them to be engaged in these type of projects.

The children walked around in two teams in the shopping area, with the mission to locate as many food advertisements as possible within the given time. To this aim they used a demonstration version of the BigO app, containing only the functionality to locate were pictures are taken. After the pilot study, the children filled out questionnaires about the application and the project.

The children, all students from the local Technasium school “Het Streek”, were very enthusiastic on being citizen scientists and were surprised about the number of food advertisements in their surroundings. In total they located about 60 food advertisements in an area of 0.3 km2. The students came up with good suggestions for the researchers on how to proceed with the project.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
Big O has been presented at the AGORA meeting in Warnsveld (NL)

Big O has been presented at the AGORA meeting in Warnsveld (NL)

On November 14th The BigO project has been presented during the symposium that was held on the occasion of the anniversary of AGORA in Warnsveld, the Netherlands. AGORA is a research alliance between the regional municipal health agency (GGD Zuid-Oost Nederland) and Wageningen University that was founded in 2005. AGORA is Greek for market place; the alliance is founded to strengthen connections between academia and practice; it is a marketplace were applied and fundamental researchers can find mutual research interest and start research projects.

 

During the symposium a diverse group of health policy advisors, epidemiologists and researchers were discussing actual issues on health policy, such as childhood obesity and care of elderly. One of the discussions was on the public space and how this may affect health related behaviour. The citizen scientist and big data approach of BigO was introduced as a novel and research methodology concept to collect information on local environmental risk factors and health related behaviour, such as diet and physical activity. During the meeting contact has been made between local health policy advisors, and opportunities for cooperation were explored.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
BigO in ‘Open Schools for Open Societies’

BigO in ‘Open Schools for Open Societies’

On October 21st, BigO was presented in the Open Schools for Open Societies conference that was held at Ellinogermaniki Agogi in Athens (Greece).  “Schools fighting childhood obesity in Greece” was the topic of a scenario workshop for teachers, where BigO was discussed as an example case of how schools can foster collaboration with families, universities and experts in the battle against a major societal problem, such as obesity.

The conference promoted Open schooling where schools, in cooperation with other stakeholders, become an agent of community well-being. Families shall be encouraged to become real partners in school life and activities; professionals from enterprises, research institutes and the general public should actively be involved in bringing real-life projects to the classroom.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News