The Eat2BeNice Project

EC Grant

Full project title: Effects of Nutrition and Lifestyle on Impulsive, Compulsive, and Externalizing behaviours
Start date: 1st September 2017
Duration: 5 years
EC funding: 11.144.561.76 €
Project coordinator: Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.  Alejandro Arias Vasquez, PhD.
Grant No: 728018
Project Video:

Project Summary and Objectives

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.

Main Goals of Eat2BeNice

  1. to identify nutritional drivers and lifestyle variations that prevent detrimental effects of impulsivity and compulsivity across the lifespan, taking socio-economic environment and sex;
  2. to characterize the etiological paths leading to impulsivity and compulsivity from the molecular level via the gut (in particular microbiota and their metabolic effects) to the brain;
  3. to promote societal changes that will counteract maladaptive impulsivity and compulsivity by bringing evidence-based information about health-related behaviours (nutrition, lifestyle) to families, clinicians, the general public, and policy makers


Eat2beNICE, with its 18 partners, is a large consortium which however is a consequence of its high ambitions. Nevertheless, getting the consortium to work is highly feasible, as most consortium members have a proven track record of successful collaborations, showing their strong commitment to work closely together in an interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral manner. The Eat2beNICE consortium is based on collaborations in eight overlapping and highly successful European consortia. In addition, the “MiND” training network as well as CoCA already built up educational structures such as seminars, summer schools, and master classes providing education about ADHD/Autism that will be opened up and extended for Eat2beNICE early career researchers, thereby creating substantial synergy. Also, we will coordinate our research and dissemination efforts especially with the other H2020 projects, in particular the highly complementary CoCA project. First examples of such coordination efforts are joined GA and SC meetings of MiND, Aggressotype and CoCA facilitating cross-fertilisation and synergy. Also, Eat2beNICE will be added to these joined efforts. The extensive experience gained in previous successful collaborations between the partners will greatly empower the Eat2beNICE consortium by a) easing the communication within the consortium; b) creating substantial synergy, especially building up on AGGRESOTYPE, CoCA, and MiND which will potentiate research output and training efficiency and c) reducing the risk of failure. The shared experience among Eat2beNICE partners will serve to constructively resolve potential internal WP issues, enhance interaction, evaluate risks in the conductance of the studies more accurately and propose contingency plans to the coordinator. In addition to the extensive research expertise in Eat2beNICE laid out above, all participants involved provide world-class facilities for the research performed within the project, and clinical sites are specialized in routine clinical treatment for impulsive/ compulsive disorders as well as in participating in respective clinical trials. Learn MORE about Our Partners

A Brief Video Overview of Our Project

Alejandro Arias-Vasquez, PhD Project Coordinator Department of Human Genetics and Psychiatry Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Our European Consortium of University Hospitals and Agencies

Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen (UMCG)
ADD Information Services (ADDISS)
Centro De Investigacion Biomedica En Red (CIBER)
Concentris Research Management
Fundacio Hospital Universitari Vall D’Hebron, Institut De Recerca
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Universitat Frankfurt Am Main (GUF)
Karlsruher Institut Fur Technologie (KIT)
Orebro University (ORU)
Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC)
Semmelweis Egyetem (SU)
Stichting Buro ECNP (ECNP)
Stichting Karakter (KAR)
Tartu Ulikool (UT)
Universitat De Barcelona (UB)
Universitatsklinikum Wurzburg, Klinikum Der Bayerischen (UW)
Universitet I Bergen (UiB)
Wageningen University (WU)
Zentralinstitut Fur Seelische Gesundheit (CIMH)