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ChiLd MicroBes predict how to stay away from Obesity (CLiMB-Out)

ChiLd MicroBes predict how to stay away from Obesity (CLiMB-Out)

Reversing the obesity epidemic by detecting risks in childhood

The CLiMB-Out project aims to detect the risks of becoming obese early-on in children and provide timely interventions to promote a healthier diet and lifestyle.  

Over 50% of the EU population are overweight or obese. This is known to contribute to the development of chronic metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, which are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Child obesity is of particular concern as the number of overweight children has increased tenfold in the last 40 years and, of those, 60% are expected to remain overweigh into adulthood.  

The CLiMB-Out project is developing predictive tools which are microbiome-informed and help detect the risks of becoming obese, facilitating the implementation of lifestyle and dietary changes early on. This project is also co-designing innovative educational and communication programs to engage families and health care professionals in, and support the adoption of, healthy lifestyles across different socioeconomic environments.  

This personalised nutrition project will use the latest innovative biotechnologies and artificial intelligence to characterise the microbiome a large cohort of children in southern European countries.  

Partners & Roles

  • Danone Research: Danone will manage communication and education task in the project. It will develop ad-hoc materials to support HCP communication on the role of microbiome-diet-host interactions in the development of obesity. Furthermore, they will organize training of the CLIMB-OUT predictive tool to raise awareness among professionals and assess the functionality of such a tool in clinical practice.  Danone will also use its own channels and network to communicate to the general population. Danone is an FMCG Industrial partner expert in food innovation with a special dedication to nutrition and a health-driven portfolio. Danone operates in all EU countries with the mission to provide health through food to the largest number of people. It is a scientific rooted company with a consumer-centric operation model. With a large experience in translating scientific insights into consumer-oriented communication. Danone Nutricia Research is an EIT partner and comprises a multidisciplinary team of about 500 people as well as local contacts in the countries of business. Danone’s research on microbiota and probiotics is well established and has been the basis of product innovation globally. This research continues today and allows to support branded and unbranded scientific and consumer communication on diet, lifestyle, microbiota and probiotics. 
  • Unibo: UNIBO together with CSIC will provide data acquired in the previous EU project (MyNewGut) of a small but well-phenotyped children cohort, where the role of microbiome-diet-host interactions in the development of obesity was investigated longitudinally. It will also contribute to select the most suitable parameters to be used for the preparation and testing of the first models to predict obesity using machine learning approaches (Task 1). UNIBO will also engage EIT Food HUB in Italy and coordinate the dissemination and communication activities in the full CLC South and the RIS areas. UNIBO paves the way for innovation through an increasingly rich programme catalogue, cutting-edge research and a constant and increasingly broad international perspective. Since its origins in 1088, UNIBO has been student-centred hosting prominent figures from science and the arts. One of the most active universities leading and participating in EU research and academic cooperation projects, UNIBO has formed knowledge alliances with industry and public/private organizations and is a hub of international networks. The Microbiome Unit of the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences (DIMEC) is experienced in the molecular profiling of the human microbiome in the perspective of its modulation for health promotion. The group has been involved in a number of microbiome projects and has strong experience as Coordinator and Co-Coordinator (REINFORCE, NuAGE, MyNewGut, CIRCLES).
  • CSIC: CSIC will act as coordinator of the proposal and will be mainly involved in microbiome analysis of the new children cohort by shut-gun metagenomics and data integration through bioinformatics and statistical analysis (Tasks 3) and in the development of predictive algorithms/models using artificial intelligence (machine learning/deep learning) (Task 1).  CSIC is the largest public research institution in Spain and the third-largest in Europe and has extensive experience in managing European R&D projects. CSIS has a leading world position in microbiome science. Y. Sanz has coordinated one of the largest European projects on the human microbiome and obesity (MyNewGut). Currently, Y. Sanz is coordinating other two MSCA-IF EU Grants (MiVAO, Micro-ILCs) and involved in other European initiatives (MicrobiomeSupport, CIRCLES and EarlyCause) of H2020 and the EIT-FOOD. They have expertise in the gut microbiome by next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms (Illumina, MinION) and computational biology. C. Mirasso (CSIC- UIB) has strong expertise in machine learning apply to the development of clinical tools and is actively involved in many EU projects (PHOCUS, ADOPD, etc.). CSIC will also be responsible for IPR management and for coordinating the potential exploitation of the results with the rest of the partners and according to consortium agreement to be signed if the project is granted. CSIC counts with the support of a Unit for Knowledge and Technology Transfer.
  • CUT: CUT will be involved mainly in educational and communication activities (Task 4). CUT (i) has strong research interests in the role of the gut microbiome in health and in collaborating with other leading institutions of the RIS countries; (ii) has proven experience in the investigation of beneficial microbes from various foods (dairy and other fermented products) and their role, (iii) has a strong interest in the role of the Mediterranean diet and, in particular, on the role of the traditional food products within our diet; (iv) the research team has long experience in educational activities with a large number of ERASMUS projects involving primary, secondary and higher education in agrifood related projects and seeks any opportunity to be of service in this important field.  Dr D. Tsaltas (Assoc. Prof.) project partner Leader, Dr M. Aspri and Dr P. Papademas have along with experience in funded projects from EU, Regional and National Funds. Dr Tsaltas is the University Contact Point for EIT Food with good knowledge in EIT administrative and policy background. The scientific capacity of the team is well supported by a good publication record, high funding success rate and extensive international network (Tsaltas: National Rep of ISEKI Food Association, Global Harmonization Initiative, American Society of Microbiology, Chairman of the Traditional Food Special Interest Group, Papademas: National Rep at the International Dairy Federation).
  • IMDEA Food Institute: IMDEA and its IP (A. Martinez) will represent the cohort CORALS, which is a prospective multi-centre study, including about 2,000 children 3-6 years old, who are intended to be longitudinally monitored for 10 years to identify endogenously (genetics) and modifiable (lifestyle, diet) risk factors involved in the development of obesity. IMDEA will provide the data and biological samples already collected at baseline (1,000) from this large children cohort and continue the follow up during the first year of the project (Task 2) to validate the predictions in the second one.  IMDEA is a member of the EITFood network and has expertise in coordinating research and epidemiological studies. In IMDEA, A. Martinez is a Program Director with a shared position with UNAV, being PI at CIBEROBN and in CORALS. A Martinez is currently President of IUNS, with around 100 articles and book chapters about Obesity in children/adolescents and belongs to the STOP EU PROJECT about determinants and policies to combat childhood obesity in EUROPE. A number of other outstanding experts in nutritional epidemiology are also involved in CORALS through the CIBEROBN network based on Barcelona (M Fito & Ht Schroeder), Córdoba (M Gil, who is a PI), Pamplona (A Martinez & S Navas), Reus (N Babio who is a CORALS PI & J Salas), Santiago (M Gil and R Leis), Valencia (O Portoles & D Corella) and Zaragoza (L Moreno). Investigators of IMDEA (Ana Ramirez & Alfredo Martinez) will be the links.
EIT food Danone Nutricia Research UNIBO CSIC CUT IMDEA Food Institute

Dissemination: Doctor Food

Doctor Food: Innovation between food and health

29 - Nov - 2021

Doctor Food is part of the Innovation Festival 2021, an open workshop on the topic "Innovation and  development strategies from research to companies" , held in Bari (Italy)

The tight relationship between food and health is a fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurial drives from startups and enlightened companies. There are plenty of virtuous examples of startup and spinoffs in the field of agrofood and health. 

The event was organized in collaboration with TECNOPOLIS Science and Technology Park of the University of Bari and aimed to argument potential and challenges of the innovation, together with startups, spinoffs, companies, experts and consultants.

In this context, Prof. Patrizia Brigidi, from the University of Bologna, presented CLiMB-Out

Multifunctional Center in Bari (IT), where the Doctor Food workshop took place. Poster Doctor Food Prof. Patrizia Brigidi at the Doctor Food workshop Doctor Food timetable

"The project - explained Prof. Patrizia Brigidi, principal investigator of the University of Bologna for EITFood - has the objective to develop new predictive tools for the early evaluation of obesity risk factors based on the gut microbiota profile, i.e., the ensemble of microorganisms harbored in the human gut, capable of synthesize vitamins and other substances that help the human body to carry out its everyday activities."

"Such overwhelming quantity of bacteria operates in relation to all other cells in our body, thus playing a relevant role in the development of obesity, especially during infanthood, which is thereby an important period for being able to revert such trend. To develop such innovative predictive tools, CLiMB-Out is going to use the results obtained by previous studyes, such as the European Project MyNewGut, focused on the characterization of child's microbiota (6-12 years) recruited mainly in the Southern Europe (Italy and Spain) and followed in longitudinal studies lasted for several years." 

"This has made it possible to identify children that maintained a normal weight, others that firmly developed obesity and others that after gaining weight came back to a normal weight condition. The gut microbial profile in all such children resulted to be highly diverse, and especially disbyotic subjects were of particular interest; which means that those one in which the intestinal microbiota was unbalanced for the number of bacteria or for the quantity of bacterial strains, identifyed in normal-weight children with an incorrect dietary habits that developed obesity over time."

"Beside the gut microbiome level, all the children have been characterized for a multitue of physiological, metabolical and immunologicla parameters, investigated through the application of the most advanced molecular biology techniques, allowing in this way to obtain wide databases that CLiMB-Out is going to analyze through Artificial Intelligence procedures. The aim is to identify specific configurations of the gut microbiota that, together with other individual characteristics, can be embedded in tools capable of predicting the potential development of pathologies."

The conference of Doctor Food, in Bari (IT)

CLiMB-Out is going to produce also new educational programs and communications, which will involve both families and schools, taking into account important parameters correlated to socio-economic conditions, to ultimately improve obesity-risk children's dietary habits and lifestyle.

Here the slides of Prof. Brigidi's speech:

Dissemination: National Agrifood Cluster (CL.A.N.)

Invest in research: the future of Italian Agrifood

18 - Nov - 2021

Innovation is gaining increasing importance for the growth of the entire agrofood economic system in Italy, due to the necessity of deliver even more healthy and trusted products to the consumers. Retrieving financial resources addressed to research and implementation of production processes, services and goods is a wide-spread and sensitive topic for research institutes, startups, as well as for small-, medium- and big-sized companies. SARS-CoV2 pandemics brought out several needs that require a change not only in term of work organization and supply chain, but also in term of improving food quality and safety.

The IT National Technological Cluster for the Agrifood and the Italian EIT Food Hub organized an open workshop streamed on YouTube, to discuss the possibilities of investments in the agrifood field ant the national objectives for the following years, considering also the actuation of the PNRR (National Plan for Resilience and Recovery). During this workshop, Prof. Patrizia Brigidi - PI for the University of Bologna in EIT Food - moderated the discussion and Dr. Barbara De Ruggieri - for EIT Food Hub Italy - presented the EIT Food project's programme and opportunities, with a specific focus on CLiMB-Out.

Here the poster and timetable of the event:



Video of the event:

You can find the live stream of the event in Italian language here:



Partners of the Workshop:

EIT food logo EIT food RIS Europe funded Università Studi Aldo Moro HUB Siracusa CLAN Cluster Agrifood Nazionale

Media and CLiMB-Out

Online magazines, blogs and news talking about CLiMB-Out.


CLiMB-Out, European Project to tackle child obseity



EIT Food CLiMB-Out. The EIT Food project to counteract child obesity


Danone Research
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna (UNIBO)
Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)

Project Lead

Sanz, YS (Yolanda)



Activity Leader

Contact details

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