Development and validation of a novel life course microsimulation model linking diet to noncommunicable diseases

Project Details


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) group a cluster of chronic diseases that develop gradually throughout life. The globally rising NCDs burden, driven by unhealthy diets, affects especially socioeconomic disadvantaged population subgroups. Improving diets to tackle NCDs burden is high on the agenda of all health organizations, but we are lacking sound methodologies to accurately quantify the drivers of diet-related NCDs risks over the lifetime. Previous models
have focused on individual NCDs and only among adults, not considering the accumulation of risks throughout the life course, and the impact of the early onset of obesity and diabetes, and their interplay, with cardiovascular or cancer outcomes. This approach underestimates the corresponding health impacts, further overlooking potential differential effects by NCD type and population investigated.

The present research proposal builds on substantial prior work to develop, for the first time to our knowledge, a life course obesitydiabetes-CVD-cancer microsimulation model that links diet to NCDs across the life course. The model will be developed and validated for Belgium, using representative data and established resources, and used to quantify diet-related NCDs burdens in Belgium, accounting for population’s heterogeneity in various individual, socio-economic, and geographical layers. The validated life-course model will represent the foundation for future work in other areas including low and middle-income countries.
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/23


  • Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek: €570,596.00

IWETO expertise domain

  • B680-epidemiology