SHIFT2HEALTH funded under the EU HEALTH call “HORIZON-HLTH-2022-STAYHLTH-01-05: Prevention of Obesity Through the Life Course” is a collaborative effort of 15 European Partners (the consortium is composed of 10 universities, 1 technology transfer centre, 1 research centre, 1 European Network and 2 companies) in 7 European countries to gain new insights into behavioural and physiological underpinnings that make shift workers overweight and obese.

This project uses a multidisciplinary approach and aims to identify mechanisms and environmental and lifestyle factors leading to obesity in shift workers and to develop and evaluate products and strategies with consideration of the behavioural and relational level to support healthy eating patterns.

The project is building on eight interlinked work packages (WP) and will focus on both healthcare (female dominated) and industrial workers (male dominated), two major sectors where working in shifts is common. It will combine existing and new knowledge on nutritional, behavioural, perceptual and physiological determinants of (un)healthy food choices in a cross-section trial and consider personal needs and wishes. Based on the latter results, promising strategies, technical solutions and products will be developed and tested within the target group in specific interventions.

During all steps, stakeholders (health work organisations, shift workers` representatives, companies, policy makers and scientists) will be involved.

The specific objectives of SHIFT2HEALTH are:

Scientific Objectives:

1. To reduce the risk of obesity, improve the quality of life and wellbeing of current and future shift workers (WP1-8).

2. To characterise the biological mechanisms that underlie the obesogenicity of shift work by evaluating pre-obesity related biomarkers in shift vs. non-shift workers across Europe (WP2)

3. To obtain new and to summarise existing knowledge on shift workers lifestyles, (i.e. nutrition, sleep, physical activity, food preferences), metabolic state and socioeconomic factors in relation to the development of obesity in a multicentre (5 countries) cross-sectional study (WP1,2) of shift workers and non-shift workers (human study 1).

4. To investigate the needs and expectations of shift workers and employers on food provision, food facilities and food consumption in the workplace, as well as shift worker´ dietary and sleep/circadian behaviour, sensory taste and smell perception and metabolic condition (e.g. microbiome, inflammation, glucose levels, appetite or stress) (WP1,2).

5. To develop, implement and evaluate an evidence-based holistic chrono-nutrition intervention (3 countries) to prevent the onset of, and to mitigate overweight and obesity by weakening the effects of circadian misalignment, and improving metabolic health in shift workers (WP3, human study 2).

6. To investigate new targets and confirm cross-section derived biomarkers for chronodisruption in human 3D in-vitro gut models – and to test promising microbiota-related or chronoactive food compounds – such as specific microbial taxa and/or their metabolites for their efficiency (WP4).

7. To test a food product in-vivo with shift workers containing one or more promising microbial taxa and chronoactive ingredients to reduce obesity related biomarkers, body weight, intestinal barrier dysfunction and increase wellbeing and sleep quality in shift workers (WP4, human study 3).

8. To explore pathways to obesity and to develop predictive models of obesity in shift workers (WP5).

9. To conduct a HIA on potential health effects of recommendations regarding obesity-preventing strategies (WP6).

10. To effectively communicate to the scientific, regulatory, and wider communities the results of the studies and their impact via high profile scientific publications, conferences, presentations, social media and press releases or interviews (WP7).

Societal Objectives:

11. To describe the factors affecting food choices and the identification of early obesity risk markers, and to describe the metabolic condition of shift workers, thereby increasing knowledge and understanding about this problem in society at large and in shift workers in particular (WP1,2,3,5).

12. To provide evidence-based strategies for shift workers and other occupations, companies, health insurers and policy makers in the form of easily understandable and useable dietary recommendations, products and tools (WP6).

13. To promote healthier food choices and the future prevention of obesity in shift workers, improve healthy life of expectancy and reduce the risk of disability (WP6,7).

14. To develop communication and information material (including workshops), among shift workers, companies, and policy makers to achieve widespread coverage of the findings of the project (WP7).

15. To implement the outcomes in the education of relevant occupations (WP7).



Economic Objectives:

16. To have a long-term impact on reducing obesity and related health costs in shift workers (WP1-8).

17. To make shift work more sustainable and future proof by improving the health and satisfaction of shift workers (WP1-8).

18. To develop and implement evidence-based obesity prevention products and tools for shift workers. Cooperation with companies and co-creation during the design of products suited to the needs of shift workers is innovative and increases the potential of implementation, which will strengthen the economic impact on the European market (WP3,4,6).