This research group focuses on behavioral and psychosocial aspects of physical activity and exercise, nutrition and eating behavior, and obesity/weight control.

Self-Regulation  in  Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity



Overview of Research Program


The study of motivational, self-regulatory, and behavioral predictors of healthful eating, physical activity, and weight control .


The design, evaluation and implementation of health behavior change (HBC) interventions, using self-regulation and motivation theory, namely self-determination theory.


The role of physical activity/exercise behaviors in weight management, namely its association with weight-related outcomes, body image, and psychological well-being.


Developing measurement instruments to capture self-regulation, motivation, physical activity/exercise, and eating behaviors, building a national repository available in open and free access.

Highlighted News

05 / 02 / 2019

Lifestyle change programmes run for fans by football clubs score health goals

A European programme, delivered in Portugal by PANO researchers Pedro Teixeira, Marlene Silva and Hugo Pereira,  which targeted the lifestyles of male football fans of 15 European football clubs has been more effective in improving physical activity than other physical activity intervention programmes, according to research just published in PLOS Medicine

The European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) programme, an EU-funded randomised control trial of 1113 men aged 30-65, carried out across 15 professional football clubs in England, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, also led to important improvements in diet, weight, wellbeing, self-esteem, vitality and biomarkers of health risk. EuroFIT is delivered by club’s community coaches in football club stadia in 12 weekly, 90-minute sessions which are aimed at increasing physical activity, reducing time spent sitting and improving diet in a way that maintains change over the long term. A novel pocket-worn device (SitFIT) developed for EuroFIT by the Glasgow company PAL Technologies allowed self-monitoring of time spent sitting and daily steps, in real time while a game-based app encouraged between-session social support.

In the randomised control trial men were split into two groups. The first group undertook the 12-week, group-based EuroFIT programme straightaway, and the second, comparison, group were asked to wait until after the trial to take part. After a year, men who took part in EuroFIT were doing on average 678 steps a day more than the comparison group.  They had also improved their diet, eating more fruit and vegetables, less fat and less sugar and had increased wellbeing and vitality. However, attempts to reduce time spent sitting were not successful.  After a year men who did the programme were not sitting less than those who had to wait to take part.   

Professor Sally Wyke, the programme’s Principal Investigator and Interdisciplinary Professor of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, said: “The results of our randomised control trial of EuroFIT support the findings of the earlier FFIT study. Gender-sensitised lifestyle programmes delivered in professional football clubs show great promise in Europe and could play an important public health role in engaging under-served men.

With a finalised version of the programme now successfully tested by additional pilot clubs in England, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, project partner, European Healthy Stadia Network, will be responsible for the roll out of EuroFIT across Europe using a not-for-profit licensing system. Matthew Philpott, Executive Director of European Healthy Stadia Network, said: “We are hugely excited about the roll-out of EuroFIT, as we now know this intervention is effective across different European countries. We are working with our partners at UEFA to promote this evidence-based lifestyle programme to European football, and are already planning delivery of the programme in a number of new territories this Spring, with the aim of having EuroFIT embedded across European football over the next 5 years.”

Read the paper here.

Lifestyle change programmes run for fans by football clubs score health goals
27 / 11 / 2018

PANO Research Group at the 22nd Portuguese Congress on Obesity (SPEO)

PANO Research Group was massively represented at the 22nd Portuguese Congress on Obesity (SPEO), in Lisbon. António Palmeira, Inês Santos, Jorge Encantado and Catarina Luís organised a Symposium on behalf of the NoHoW Consortium, where last years' efforts conducting a Randomised Controlled Trial using Digital Tools for supporting weight-loss maintenance were presented. Additionally, Inês Santos participated in a Symposium, organised by the SPEO’ Special Interest Group in Nutrition, on the nutritional intervention in non-surgical obese individuals; Marlene Silva presented the subject of "Obesity and Social Stigma" and was also involved in the Symposium dedicated to the Portuguese National Program for the Promotion of Physical Activity (PNPAF-DGS). Eliana Carraça also participated in a Symposium dedicated to Psychology with a presentation entitled "Treatment Predictors: clues to the intervention".

PANO Research Group at the 22nd Portuguese Congress on Obesity (SPEO)
12 / 11 / 2018

EuroFIT Launch Event in Brussels

The EuroFIT Launch Event held at Scotland House in Brussels on 31 October 2018 to celebrate the success of the research project and to learn how the ground-breaking programme will be rolled out across Europe.

EuroFIT Coordinator Prof Sally Wyke commented, “The launch of EuroFIT into the real world of football and public health was a great success.  Over 70 people from different countries and organisation came together.  We have scientific evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness and research-based guidelines on how to deliver the programme in football clubs.  We have a pragmatic, inexpensive, not-for-profit licensing system that will protect the fidelity of the programme and ensure that outcomes are the same.  All in all a great investment from the European Commission.” For more information click HERE.

EuroFIT Launch Event in Brussels
24 / 10 / 2018

EuroFIT Consortium at ISPAH 2018 Congress

On October 16th, Marlene Silva and EuroFIT Consortium presented a Symposium at ISPAH congress entitled "Increasing physical activity in overweight football fans: The role of motivational theory in promoting physically active lifestyles in the EuroFIT program". The purposes of this talk were to describe how constructs from motivational theory (Self-Determination and Achievement Goal Theories) were used to inform EuroFIT intervention strategies, and to report on whether the program impacted motivational targets. More information about the congress HERE.

EuroFIT Consortium at ISPAH 2018 Congress
04 / 10 / 2018

Jorge Encantado at the EASO NIU Autumn School 2018

On October 1-3 the New Investigators United Autumn School organised by the European Association for the Study of Obesity took place at Palma de Mallorca. Jorge Encantado was selected to participate in this event focusing on ‘Hot Topics in Obesity’ with sessions addressing the key issues in research, treatment and public health. Teaching was delivered by European experts and included both lectures and practical training. More information about this event HERE.

Jorge Encantado at the EASO NIU Autumn School 2018
14 / 09 / 2018

NoHoW Consortium meets at Leeds University

NoHoW consortium meeting at Leeds University

The University of Leeds hosted one more NoHoW consortium meeting during the last month (September 11-13). The meeting outline involved data handling, publication planning, discussions on the dissemination of the project findings, and funding priorities. More information about NoHoW HERE.


NoHoW Consortium meets at Leeds University

Highlighted Publications