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Research projects

Effects of Nutrition and Lifestyle on Impulsive, Compulsive, and Externalizing behaviours (Eat2beNICE)

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Henrik Larsson

Research subject

Maladaptive impulsivity and compulsivity predispose to antisocial and addictive behaviours. Factors influencing those traits are not well understood, but diet, lifestyle, socio-economic status (SES), sex, and heritability play pivotal roles. Here, we aim (1) to identify nutrition and lifestyle drivers that can be employed to prevent detrimental impulsivity/compulsivity in males and females across the lifespan, (2) to characterize the etiologic paths leading to extreme behaviour, and (3) to promote policy changes to counteract maladaptive impulsivity/compulsivity by disseminating evidence-based information about health-related behaviours to families, clinicians, policy makers, and general public. We use epidemiologic approaches in the world-wide largest existing samples to investigate association of nutrition components & lifestyle with impulsivity/ compulsivity, and how such associations are moderated by age, culture, sex, SES, and genetics. We assess beneficial effects of key nutritional interventions through RCTs in highly impulsive males/females, going beyond state-of-the-art by directly comparing personalized, high-intensity approaches with one-size-fits-all and microbiome-dependent supplementations. We study the protective potential of acute exercise and habitual physical activity. We monitor intervention-induced changes in real time through objective mHealth-based experience sampling. Uniquely, we study effects of the gut-microbiome and its metabolites, as well as brain connectivity and epigenetic patterns as mediators and predictors of behavioural change. We initiate and support societal change by media-based information and education. We innovate the field by measuring behavioural change using social media downstream of educational campaigns and by translation of our findings into tangible healthy food solutions with a celebrity chef. Our group, in which experts from multiple disciplines join forces, is in a unique position to carry out the proposed project.



Research groups

Research funding bodies

  • EU Horizon 2020


  • Catharina Hartman, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen,
  • Jan Haavik, University of Bergen