Research fellow

Dr. Antje Hebestreit

Curriculum vitae

Dr. Antje Hebestreit is head of the Unit Lifestyle-Related Disorders at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, Department Epidemiological Methods and Etiological Research. Dr. Hebestreit previously served as a nutritional epidemiologist and coordinator of the German branch of the largest pan-European intervention study on diet- and lifestyle-related disorders in children (; 2006-2012) and was a member of the steering committee of the subsequent cohort study involving these children and their families (2012-2017). In I.Family she co-chaired work package 3 ‘Assessment of dietary behaviours ‘. Dr. Hebestreit was member of the JPI-HDHL DEDIPAC management team (2013-2016) and currently chairs work package 2 "Monitoring and surveillance" of the JPI-HDHL Policy Evaluation Network (2018-2021); she is also member of the PEN Steering Group.
From 2000-2001 she conducted the main part of the research for her PhD in the Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. After her PhD in 2004, Dr. Hebestreit worked as postdoctoral research fellow for the Harvard University in Tanzania. During this time Dr. Hebestreit also worked as a consultant for the UN World Food Programme in Guinea-Bissau.
Over the years, her work has focused on studying the role of dietary intake, dietary behaviour, and their determinants in association with non-communicable diseases, in particular childhood obesity.

Research interests

  • Development, application and evaluation of instruments for assessing dietary intake, dietary behaviour, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and their determinants
  • Design and implementation of small and large scale epidemiological studies for investigating lifestyle-related diseases in special populations, such as children
  • Investigation of risk factors for obesity, metabolic health and musculoskeletal health in high and low income countries



Selected publications

  • Articles with peer-review

  • Bogl L-H, Mehlig K, Intemann T, Masip G, Keski-Rahkonen A, Russo P, Michels N, Reisch LA, Pala V, Johnson L, Molnár D, Tornaritis M, Veidebaum T, Moreno LA, Ahrens W, Lissner L, Kaprio J, Hebestreit A, on behalf of the I.Family consortium. A within-sibling pair analysis of lifestyle behaviours and BMI z-score in the multi-centre I.Family study. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases. 2019;29(6):580-589.
  • Hebestreit A, Thumann B, Wolters M, Bucksch J, Huybrechts I, Inchley J, Lange C, Lien N, Manz K, Slimani N, van der Ploeg H, Ahrens W, on behalf of the DEDIPAC consortium. Road map towards a harmonized pan-European surveillance of obesity-related lifestyle behaviours and their determinants in children and adolescents. International Journal of Public Health. 2019;64(4):615-623.
  • Nyangasa MA, Buck C, Kelm S, Sheikh M, Brackmann K, Hebestreit A. Association between cardiometabolic risk factors and body mass index, waist circumferences and body fat in a Zanzibari cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e025397.
  • Nyangasa MA, Buck C, Kelm S, Sheikh M, Hebestreit A. Exploring food access and sociodemographic correlates of food consumption and food insecurity in Zanzibari households. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019;16(9):1557.
  • Sina E, Buck C, Jilani H, Tornaritis M, Veidebaum T, Russo P, Moreno LA, Molnár D, Eiben G, Mårild S, Pala V, Ahrens W, Hebestreit A. Association of infant feeding patterns with taste preferences in European children and adolescents: A retrospective latent profile analysis. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1040.
  • Wolters M, Volkert D, Streicher M, Kiesswetter E, Torbahn G, O'Connor EM, O'Keeffe M, Kelly M, O'Herlihy E, O'Toole PW, Timmons S, O'Shea E, Kearney P, van Zwienen-Pot J, Visser M, Maitre I, van Wymelbeke V, Sulmont-Rossé C, Nagel G, Flechtner-Mors M, Goisser S, Teh R, Hebestreit A, on behalf of the MaNuEl consortium. Prevalence of malnutrition using harmonized definitions in older adults from different settings - A MaNuEL Study. Clinical Nutrition. 2019;38(5):2389-2398.
  • Dello Russo M, Ahrens W, De Henauw S, Eiben G, Hebestreit A, Kourides Y, Lissner L, Molnár D, Moreno LA, Pala V, Veidebaum T, Siani A, Russo P, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. The impact of adding sugars to milk and fruit on adiposity and diet quality in children: A cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of the Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants (IDEFICS) study. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1350.
  • Ahrens W, Siani A, Adan R, De Henauw S, Eiben G, Gwozdz W, Hebestreit A, Hunsberger M, Kaprio J, Krogh V, Lissner L, Molnár D, Moreno LA, Page A, Picó C, Reisch LA, Smith RM, Tornaritis M, Veidebaum T, Williams G, Pohlabeln H, Pigeot I, on behalf of the I.Family consortium. Cohort profile: The transition from childhood to adolescence in European children - How I.Family extends the IDEFICS cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2017;46(5):1394-1395j.
  • Bel-Serrat S, Huybrechts I, Thumann B, Hebestreit A, Abuja PM, De Henauw S, Dubuisson C, Heuer T, Murrin CM, Lazzeri G, van Rossum C, Andersen LF, Szeklicki R, Vioque J, Berry R, van der Ploeg H, Ahrens W, Slimani N, on behalf of the DEDIPAC consortium. Inventory of surveillance systems assessing dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviours in Europe: A DEDIPAC study. European Journal of Public Health. 2017;27(4):747-755.
  • Bogl L-H, Silventoinen K, Hebestreit A, Intemann T, Williams G, Michels N, Molnár D, Page A, Pala V, Papoutsou S, Pigeot I, Reisch LA, Russo P, Veidebaum T, Moreno LA, Lissner L, Kaprio J. Familial resemblance in dietary intakes of children, adolescents, and parents: Does dietary quality play a role? Nutrients. 2017;9(8):892.
  • Brug J, van der Ploeg H, Loyen A, Ahrens W, Allais O, Andersen LF, Cardon G, Capranica L, Chastin S, De Bourdeaudhuij I, De Craemer M, Donnelly A, Ekelund U, Finglas P, Flechtner-Mors M, Hebestreit A, Kubiak T, Lanza M, Lien N, MacDonncha C, Mazzocchi M, Monsivais P, Murphy M, Nicolaou M, Nöthlings U, O'Gorman DJ, Renner B, Roos G, van den Berg M, Schulze M, Steinacker J, Stronks K, Volkert D, Lakerveld J, on behalf of the DEDIPAC consortium. Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity (DEDIPAC): A summary of findings. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2017;14:150.
  • Hebestreit A, Intemann T, Siani A, De Henauw S, Eiben G, Kourides Y, Kovács E, Moreno LA, Veidebaum T, Krogh V, Pala V, Bogl L-H, Hunsberger M, Börnhorst C, Pigeot I, on behalf of the I.Family consortium. Dietary patterns of European children and their parents in association with family food environment: Results from the I.Family study. Nutrients. 2017;9(2):126.
  • Intemann T, Hebestreit A, Reisch LA, Williams G, Lissner L, Williams M, Börnhorst C, Pigeot I. Obesogenic diets in European children - From nutrients to upstream factors. Public Health Panorama. 2017;3(4):663-676.
  • Jilani H, Ahrens W, Buchecker K, Russo P, Hebestreit A, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. Association between the number of fungiform papillae on the tip of the tongue and sensory taste perception in children. Food and Nutrition Research. 2017;61(1):1348865.
  • Jilani H, Intemann T, Bogl L-H, Eiben G, Molnár D, Moreno LA, Pala V, Russo P, Siani A, Solea A, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W, Hebestreit A, on behalf of the I.Family consortium. Familial aggregation and socio-demographic correlates of taste preferences in European children. BMC Nutrition. 2017;3:87.
  • Sprengeler O, Wirsik N, Hebestreit A, Herrmann D, Ahrens W. Domain-specific self-reported and objectively measured physical activity in children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017;14(3):242.
  • Hebestreit A, Barba G, De Henauw S, Eiben G, Hadjigeorgiou C, Kovács E, Krogh V, Moreno LA, Pala V, Veidebaum T, Wolters M, Börnhorst C, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between energy intake and BMI z-score in European children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2016;13:23.
  • Nyangasa MA, Kelm S, Sheikh M, Hebestreit A. Design, response rates, and population characteristics of a cross-sectional study in Zanzibar, Tanzania. JMIR Research Protocols. 2016;5(4):e235.
  • Arvidsson L, Bogl L-H, Eiben G, Hebestreit A, Nagy P, Tornaritis M, Moreno LA, Siani A, Veidebaum T, De Henauw S, Lissner L, on behalf of the IDEFICS and I.Family consortia. Fat, sugar and water intakes among families from the IDEFICS intervention and control groups: First observations from I.Family. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(Suppl. 2):127-137.
  • De Bourdeaudhuij I, Verbestel V, De Henauw S, Maes L, Huybrechts I, Mårild S, Eiben G, Moreno LA, Barba G, Kovács E, Konstabel K, Tornaritis M, Gallois KM, Hebestreit A, Pigeot I, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. Behavioural effects of a community-oriented setting-based intervention for prevention of childhood obesity in eight European countries. Main results from the IDEFICS study. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(Suppl. 2):30-40.
  • Hunsberger M, Mehlig K, Börnhorst C, Hebestreit A, Moreno LA, Veidebaum T, Kourides Y, Siani A, Molnár D, Sioen I, Lissner L. Dietary carbohydrate and nocturnal sleep duration in relation to children’s BMI: Findings from the IDEFICS study in eight European countries. Nutrients. 2015;7(12):10223-10236.
  • Nicholls SG, Pohlabeln H, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Chadjigeorgiou C, Gwozdz W, Hebestreit A, Lauria F, Lissner L, Molnár D, Santaliestra-Pasías AM, Veidebaum T, Williams G, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. Parents' evaluation of the IDEFICS intervention: An analysis focussing on socio-economic factors, child's weight status, and intervention exposure. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(Suppl. 2):103-118.
  • Pigeot I, Baranowski T, De Henauw S, and the IDEFICS Intervention Study Group, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium, in collaboration with Ahrens W, Hebestreit A. The IDEFICS intervention trial to prevent childhood obesity: Design and study methods. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(Suppl. 2):4-15.
  • Hebestreit A, Börnhorst C, Barba G, Siani A, Huybrechts I, Tognon G, Eiben G, Moreno LA, Fernández-Alvira JM, Loit H-M, Kovács E, Tornaritis M, Krogh V. Associations between energy intake, daily food intake and energy density of foods and BMI z-score in 2-9-year-old European children. European Journal of Nutrition. 2014;53(2):673-681. (Corrigendum: Hebestreit A et al. European Journal of Nutrition. 2014;53(5):1297-1298.
  • Hebestreit A, Börnhorst C, Pala V, Barba G, Eiben G, Veidebaum T, Hadjigeorgiou C, Molnár D, Claessens M, Fernández-Alvira JM, Pigeot I, on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium. Dietary energy density in young children across Europe. International Journal of Obesity. 2014;38(S2):S124-S134.
  • Editorships

  • Hebestreit A, Bogl L-H. Dietary behavior and physical activity in children and adolescents. Nutrients. Basel, Switzerland: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute - MDPI. 2019.
  • Presentations at scientific meetings/conferences

  • Jilani H, Intemann T, Ahrens W, Hebestreit A. Correlates of bitter, sweet, salty and umami taste thresholds in European children: Role of sex, age, country and weight status - The IDEFICS study. 13th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, 28 July-1 August 2019, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

For further publications please follow this link:

Prizes and awards

  • Aufnahme als Mitglied im AcademiaNet
    The Swiss National Science Foundation (2020)
    Admission as excellent female scientist within the Leibniz-Association
  • Aufnahme in das Mentoring-Programm der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft
    Leibniz Association (2013)
    Particular suitability for a career in top-level management
  • Doctoral Scholarship
    Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany (2000)
    Doctoral scholarship


  • Seminar Epidemiology, Bachelor of Public Health programme at the University of Bremen
  • Postgraduate program Epidemiology at the University of Bremen

The responsibility for the content of this page lies with Antje Hebestreit.