Lifestyle-related diseases: lifestyle as medicine

Metabolic and immune health

Lifestyle diseases cause patients great suffering and cost society money. Preventing or curing these diseases provides a better quality of life, saves society money and relieves the burden on health care professionals. We develop innovations which enable patients to permanently change their lifestyle. This is how we contribute to the cure.

Lifestyle diseases curable

There have been many studies indicating that lifestyle diseases are reversible (pdf) through timely and radical lifestyle changes. In many cases, it appears that a change in lifestyle leads directly to an improvement in the person's situation. The focus is mainly on diet and physical activity, but there are also mental and cognitive aspects. The challenges here are to sustainably transform the following aspects:

  • healthcare
  • social and personal environmental factors
  • the individual behavioural change required

This provides optimal support for maintaining any improvements that have been made. This is a way to develop behavioural changes that are suited to individual profiles and needs.

Investing in curing lifestyle diseases

People with lifestyle diseases are often greatly impaired by their illness. It also costs a lot of money. For someone with type 2 diabetes, the average total costs amount to more than EUR 130,000. Roughly half of this amount is spent on healthcare. The other half is related to loss of work productivity. Together with partners, we are investigating how we can make people healthier by giving them the best lifestyle advice. This reduces and prevents costs. And better still, it prevents people from becoming or remaining patients.


Together with LUMC, we launched the Dutch Innovation Centre for Lifestyle Medicine (Lifestyle4Health) on 3 July 2018. Lifestyle4Health is an open, national platform which connects, coordinates and increases impact. The platform's mission is to halve the burden of lifestyle-related diseases in the next ten years. To utilise the potential of lifestyle medicine, a transformation is needed. A transformation from 'care for illness' to self-care and taking control of one's own health. The starting point of lifestyle medicine is an environment which helps the patient to take and maintain control of their own health. 365 days a year. This calls for a transformation of:

  • the health care sector
  • the business world
  • patients
  • health and well-being policy

Lifestyle as medicine

In short, from treatment to prevention and from consulting rooms to the home. Through Lifestyle4Health, we actively pursue scientific research, innovations and new revenue models in the context of lifestyle medicine.

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TNO's view of 2030: 50% reduction in lifestyle-related diseases

14 November 2022

We look ahead to 2030 and find out, among other things, how we can offer people a healthy environment and with a healthier lifestyle.

Chronic inflammatory diseases


Inflammatory balances are strongly influenced by extrinsic factors and modulation of these factors is key in fighting  inflammatory diseases.

Metabolic and immune health


We develop methods that enable the effects of nutrition on personal health to be measurable.

Translational models TNO excel in preclinical research

13 June 2022
TNO’s animal models for NAFLD/NASH are the most translational to human tissue data in a recent Hepatology article about NAFLD/NASH and cardiovascular disease.

Improving the health of mothers and newborns in Ghana

1 December 2021
Currently, a consortium of 10 international partners, is studying how to implement ‘Group Care’ into 7 countries. In Group Care 8-12 women and their partners meet up during pregnancy and the first 2 years after birth for medical and psycho-social care, interactive learning and community building. We just went to Ghana, to train midwives and adapt the approach to the local context.