Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Nutrition and public health

January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2027
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   
4.03.00  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production   

Code Science Field
B420  Biomedical sciences  Nutrition 

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
nutrition, public health, dietary intake, health claims, functional foods
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 17, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  420  12,201  10,894  25.94 
Scopus  443  14,561  13,125  29.63 
Researchers (23)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  33338  PhD Evgen Benedik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  671 
2.  27975  PhD Urška Blaznik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  205 
3.  05373  PhD Ivan Eržen  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  675 
4.  15312  PhD Nataša Fidler Mis  Human reproduction  Researcher  2019 - 2023  423 
5.  39036  PhD An Galičič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2023 - 2024  97 
6.  24228  PhD Matej Gregorič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  228 
7.  54839  Edvina Hafner  Public health (occupational safety)  Junior researcher  2020 - 2024  12 
8.  39476  Maša Hribar  Public health (occupational safety)  Technical associate  2019 - 2024  62 
9.  51995  PhD Hristo Hristov  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  57 
10.  23075  PhD Mojca Korošec  Animal production  Researcher  2019 - 2024  460 
11.  00950  PhD Ivan Kreft  Plant production  Retired researcher  2019 - 2024  910 
12.  54315  Sanja Krušič  Public health (occupational safety)  Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
13.  55942  Saša Kugler  Public health (occupational safety)  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024  10 
14.  22463  PhD Anita Kušar  Plant production  Researcher  2019 - 2024  108 
15.  36048  PhD Živa Lavriša  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  53 
16.  52451  Neža Lipovec  Public health (occupational safety)  Technical associate  2020 - 2023  62 
17.  37388  PhD Jana Lozar Krivec  Human reproduction  Researcher  2019 - 2024  95 
18.  57017  Tamara Mavec    Technical associate  2023 - 2024 
19.  39242  PhD Nina Mikec  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020  22 
20.  50408  PhD Urška Pivk Kupirovič  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2019 - 2020  25 
21.  34249  PhD Rok Poličnik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2023 - 2024  238 
22.  24300  PhD Igor Pravst  Public health (occupational safety)  Head  2019 - 2024  320 
23.  24278  PhD Katja Žmitek  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2024  169 
Organisations (5)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  3018  NUTRITION INSTITUTE  Ljubljana  3609081000  498 
2.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  77,929 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  67,254 
4.  2885  VIST - Faculty of Applied Sciences  Ljubljana  2288591  791 
5.  3333  National Institut of Public Health  Ljubljana  6462642  18,738 
Diet and lifestyle play a major role in the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in both Slovenia and worldwide. A number of determinants, including social and economic ones, impact population lifestyle habits and create health inequalities. High quality research investigating links between nutrition/lifestyle habits and the health status of the population is essential for scientific progress in the area of public health and to support health policies with efficient approaches for improving public health. A highly interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approach is needed to perform efficient research in this area. The objectives of the programme are divided into three key thematic sets: (O1) Nutritional methodology, lifestyle habits and epidemiological data; (O2) Food supply: Availability and promotion of healthy foods; and (O3) Sustainable production of functional foods. At a time of a global rise in obesity, some population groups are still at a risk of nutrient deficiencies. An efficient methodology should be developed to identify such risks. Employing digital nutrition assessment methods will contribute to the more efficient use of resources in nutrition research and clinical practice, but such methods should be tailored for use specific target populations. In addition, novel approaches should be developed to enable resourceful targeting of studies in specific target populations. Optimisation of access to subjects with specific dietary and/or lifestyle habits remains a key challenge which should be resolved to facilitate scientific progress in the areas of public health and nutrition. The promotion of healthy diets and foods is also challenging. A common approach to achieve this involves public health interventions and campaigns for raising awareness about specific nutrition- and health-related issues, but to achieve cost efficiency such interventions should be driven by the use of best practices and results of recent research. Moreover, the efficiency of such interventions should be evaluated to support future policy decisions. Food labelling and promotion are also powerful tools that can affect dietary habits. The labelling of nutrition declaration and use of nutrition/health claims/symbols enable the promotion of healthy foods/diets, but understanding the needs and behaviours of the consumer are key elements to assure the efficiency of such an approach. Another approach to improve public health is to facilitate the development of functional foods, which should support body function over meeting basic nutrition needs. Such foods can also advance research and innovation, along with the global competitiveness of the food industry. However, the efficiency of such foods should be substantiated on the highest scientific level and such foods should not present a risk of overconsumption of particular food constituents.
Significance for science
In Slovenia different research organisations conduct research in the area of nutrition from the public health perspective. The research programme Nutrition and Public Health, first established in 2015, has provided a unique opportunity to connect researchers working in similar scientific fields, support long-term inter-institutional collaboration, scientific excellence and overall national scientific capacity. With tight collaboration with international experts we will assure the use of best practices and newest methodologies. Considering that the data and tools prepared by our programme are being used also within the health care and educational system, our programme will not contribute only to the development of science, but also to the development of profession. There has been a considerable progress on all three thematic sets of this programme. Digitalisation has enabled remarkable progress in nutritional methodology and further scientific progress on this area will in future enable efficient conduction of research on much higher population samples, than we could imagine in the past. Furthermore, a number of extensive databases with important health-related population data is collected on daily bases by governments, research organisations and companies, but are still underutilised. The scientific community is therefore joining forces to gain access to such databases, to connect them and develop new approaches and methods will give significant contribution to public health. Such methods will enable rapid and efficient tracking of links between lifestyle habits and health status of the population. Use of such databases will also enable conduction of highly targeted studies. Development of new approaches for targeted access to subjects with specific dietary and/or lifestyle habits offer a major potential is the improvement in the identifying populations at risk. Furthermore, new approaches are being developed in the area of promotion of healthy foods and diets. Improved, more affordable methods are introducing highly measurable intervention parameters and eliminating weaknesses of past observational approaches. Use of state-of-the-art research methods and access to proper infrastructure also enable development of systematic evidence-based approaches for evaluations of public health interventions, supporting cost-efficiency of future interventions. A major progress is also observed in the development of functional foods. Foods and their constituents are being intensively examined to better understand their role in human health and to support public health. Our research programme will introduce new research methodologies and provide results important to the development of science in multiple disciplines, particularly in the areas of public health, nutrition and food technology, e.g.: Development of methodologies for the efficient assessment of the dietary and health status of subjects and various population groups Development of new methodologies for efficient access to specific population groups Improving understanding of the links between social/economic determinants and lifestyle habits Improving knowledge of the parameters which facilitate health inequalities Introducing an evidence-based approach for the practical nutrition of infants and children Providing insights into the role of nutrition in health and development of children Introducing systematic evidence-based approaches for evaluations of public health interventions Development of new methodologies for research of consumer behaviour and food choices Improving scientific knowledge on the composition of foods and their constituents and factors affecting their composition and content of bioactive compounds Providing new knowledge on the processing/uses of food ingredients to support sustainable production of foods with attractive nutrition and sensory properties Scientific results of the programme will be widely disseminated through publications in international scien
Significance for the country
Using a highly targeted multidisciplinary and inter-institutional approach, this research programme will have a number of direct and indirect effects for Slovenia's socio-economic development: A) Impact on the policy makers: The objectives of the programme are harmonised with the National Programme on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health 2015-2025 (NPNPAH) (RS 2015), which highlights the importance of research in the field of nutrition, especially the priorities of Horizon 2020 programme (Health, demographic change, food safety) and strengthening interinstitutional cooperation. The NPNPAH also highlights the need to ensure the research and monitoring at the national level, especially the collection of data on dietary habits in different population groups, while the "implementation of periodic cross-sectional surveys of qualitative and quantitative type, used to monitor the status and trends in the field of nutrition habits and dietary intake of the individual population groups" is mentioned as a specific objective. Education and training are also listed as priorities. Our research programme will continue to contribute to better realisation of all these areas. The programme’s objectives are also in line with Slovenian strategic resolution on the development of Slovenian agriculture and the food industry until 2020 “Food for the future” and supporting a number of priorities of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (WHO 2016b), the WHO European Food and Nutrition Action Plan (WHO 2014) and WHO’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013-2020 (WHO 2013). Results of the programme will enable an evidence-based approach in the development of health priorities and policies in the future. The results of investigations in the areas of public health and nutrition are an important long-term investment in the health of the population and will enable food security and the development of target interventions, reduce medical costs and increase productivity in Slovenia. B) Impact on the economy: The lack of data on the dietary status of the population is hindering responsible innovation in the food industry. Food producers are currently enriching foods with micronutrients and other bioactive substances without knowing the actual needs of the population, which might not always be beneficial and introduce new public health risks. Results of this programme will provide the industry with the needs of the population. In addition, with research in the area of functional foods the programme results will support the socially-responsible innovation in development of new products and technologies, which will support Slovenian industry in their global competitiveness. C) Infrastructure and health care: Results of the programme will have a direct impact on health practices. The new methods for dietary assessment, and collected epidemiological data, will enable more reliable and efficient treatments and dietary advice. The development of a novel nutritional methodology will increase the efficiency and quality of clinical practice. The aim is also to prevent chronic noncommunicable diseases, achieve optimal health from early life on and to decrease the health-care costs. D) Public awareness, education and human resources: This programme will also improve public awareness on the importance of healthy nutrition, and support high standard education in the higher education system. Programme members are actively involved in knowledge transfer into study programmes and curricula, and in supervision of BSc/PhD students and young researchers. Additional contribution of the project is therefore also educational; training new experts in the field of nutrition/ health/medicine. By integrating new knowledge into learning materials, we will contribute to higher quality of education of professionals and researchers. Additionally, the programme will support inclusion of young researchers into research projects. E)
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
Views history