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Research group/lab

Nutrition and Lifestyle Epidemiology

In our team we study how nutrition, obesity, physical activity and other lifestyle factors are associated with population health across the life-course.

About our research group/lab

Our research


In the Nutrition & Lifestyle research group we investigate the role of lifestyle and nutrition in health throughout life in order to develop effective strategies to improve population’s health. We study determinants, markers, and health consequences of diet, physical activity, alcohol use, exposure to air pollution, smoking, and obesity in various populations and life stages, from pregnancy and infancy to old age.


Cohort studies

Most of our research is embedded in large prospective cohort studies, such as the Generation R Study and Rotterdam Study. In addition, we collaborate in several international consortia we have extensive experience and expertise in performing systematic reviews and meta-analyses to summarize published evidence. 



Main research topics in our group include:
- Associations of nutrition and lifestyle with and incidence, progression and reversal of
  cardiometabolic diseases.
- Novel markers and analyses of nutritional status, body composition, physical activity,
  sedentary behavior, air pollution.
- Nutrition in early life, pregnancy, infancy, childhood and its associations with long-term



Over the years, many scientists and students have worked in the Nutrition & Lifestyle group, from various scientific disciplines (health sciences, nutrition science, movement science, psychology, biomedical sciences) and from all over the world (30+ nationalities over the last years). Till now, 16 PhD students have finalized their PhD in our group and more than 100 MSc or MD research projects have been completed in the team.

Our projects

Examples of previous and current projects:

Protein intake in infancy and adiposity
Plant-based eating and health 
Epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs) on blood lipids, obesity, and diet
Diet and gut microbiome composition in childhood and adulthood
Gene x diet interactions in health and disease risk
Bidirectional associations of physical activity and sedentary behavior with mental health
Coffee consumption, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes
Diet quality of children and associations with body composition and cardiometabolic
Air pollution and metabolic health
Impact of various lifestyle factors on life expectancy with and without chronic diseases
Reducing ethnic inequalities in children’s adiposity through diet, screen time and sports
  participation interventions

Key Publications

An overview of our publications can be found on PubMed

Career opportunities

We regularly have positions available for MSc or PhD students. Interested in working with us? Contact Dr. Voortman at trudy.voortman@erasmusmc.nl

Our team

Principal Investigator:

R.G. Voortman



Management Assistant:

Mirjam Roosen-Niesing


MSc students  

Amber Meulenbeld
MSc student air pollution and health


PhD students:

M. Amiri
T.O.E. de Crom
B.N.R. Ginos
A. Hofman
M.A.M. Limpens
Y. Mou
H. Sun
X. Wang
Y. Wu


Post Docs:  

Z. Chen
C.P. Ochoa-Rosales
M.J.J. Steur







Principal Investigators


Phd Students