The European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG) is a pan-European group of professionals dealing with childhood obesity and overweight. ECOG brings together experts from across the board including paediatricians, psychologists, nutritionists, geneticists, physical activity experts, economists and many more.

The group was founded in 1991 and its mission is to help the European community at large to fully understand the health, social, psychological and economic impacts of childhood obesity. The group is a great platform for networking, supporting research and spreading education.

It all began in 1988 when Walter Burniat, a Belgian paediatrician, wrote to Elizabeth Poskitt, a paediatrician in the UK, suggesting they met at the First European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Stockholm to discuss the fact that childhood obesity was largely presented at adult conferences by physicians, epidemiologists, and nutritionists who often had little knowledge of normal childhood growth, nutrition, development or behaviour. The initial contact of these two paediatricians led to a small short meeting at the next ECO meeting in Oxford the following year; a larger meeting at the symposium The Obese Child in Ancona (Italy) in 1990; and networking at the Third International Conference on Obesity (ICO) in Kobe (Japan), a month later.

It was at the Ancona meeting that ECOG began to take shape but the first ECOG workshop, attended by over twenty Europeans working on childhood obesity, took place in Brussels in 1991.

During the first ECOG discussions it rapidly became evident that there was no common definition of obesity in children and that adult definitions using BMI alone were inadequate. The first ECOG project was therefore to elaborate an international definition of childhood obesity (Poskitt EME. 1995. Defining childhood obesity: The relative body mass index. European Childhood Obesity Group. Acta Paediatrica 84; 961-3).

Since 1991 ECOG has grown along with the growth in interest and activities in the field of childhood obesity.

Download ECOG’s legal statute here.

This website provides an overview of ECOG activities. Thank you for your visit and please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information you may need.