Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 139–144 | Cite as

Development and application of a simple and powerful tool for nutrition and lifestyle education for the Italian general population by general practitioners and family paediatricians

  • Davide Festi
  • Antonio Colecchia
  • Susy Pini
  • Eleonora Scaioli
  • Claudio Maffeis
  • Sergio Coccheri
  • M. Letizia Petroni
Original Article


The role of general practitioners (GPs) and family paediatricians (FPs) in nutrition education and counselling for the general population is crucial. However, time constraints, insufficient knowledge and lack of suitable educational instruments have so far prevented family doctors from having an active role in this respect. In this paper the project “Osservatorio Nutrizionale Grana Padano (ON-GP)”, launched in 2005, an innovative and powerful tool for nutritional education and epidemiological monitoring by GPs and FPs, is described. GPs and FPs agreed to participate on a voluntary basis and were from all Italian regions. So far, since 2005, over 17,250 subjects (6306 children and 10,944 adults) have been surveyed by 346 GPs and 207 paediatricians. In addition to the possibility of free use of the software for clinical and educational purposes, GPs and FPs are also invited to take part in epidemiological research in order to build a nationwide database. The results of the survey are disseminated on an annual basis to family doctors and as a press release to the media, together with messages of nutrition education targeted to the general population. The success of the project so far — beyond all expectations — has prompted the planning of further improvements.


Nutrition education Epidemiological survey Nutritional counselling Food-frequency questionnaire Lifestyle questionnaire 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Festi
    • 1
  • Antonio Colecchia
    • 1
  • Susy Pini
    • 1
  • Eleonora Scaioli
    • 1
  • Claudio Maffeis
    • 2
  • Sergio Coccheri
    • 1
  • M. Letizia Petroni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine and GastroenterologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  3. 3.IRCCS Istituto Auxologico ItalianoPiancavallo (VB)Italy

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