Savolainen Markku

The treatment and counselling of obesity and related diseases


Research unit: Internal Medicine


Group leader

Professor Markku Savolainen 

Research area: Clinical nutrition and lifestyle counseling: obesity (including binge eating), metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases and eating disorders.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu
Clinical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital


What do we do

The aim of the research group is to study and develop the treatment and counseling of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in aspects of clinical nutrition, patient education and rehabilitation. In co-operation with collaboration partners the aim is also to study the obesity related biochemical, hormonal and genetic factors.

The prevention and treatment of obesity is essential. However, the treatment of it is too often ineffective and thus new treatment and counseling methods are needed. Moreover, the associations with psychological eating behavior factors and hormonal or genetic factors are unclear.

We have two ongoing intervention study projects:

1) Applications of cognitive therapy in obesity treatment: effect on eating behavior, obesity, weight loss and diabetes or cardiovascular risk (KognObe-study)

  • randomized 3-years follow-up study with 62 study obese subjects. (BMI over 30)

2) Prevention of Metabolic syndrome by lifestyle counseling – the study of new applications of lifestyle changes. (PrevMetSyn –study)

  • randomized 2-years follow-up study with 600 owerveight or obese subjects (BMI 27-35).


Our team

Post doc researchers

  • Keränen Anna-Maria, PhD, clinical nutritionist

PhD students

  • Jokelainen Terhi, M.Sc., clinical nutritionist and M.Ed.
  • Kujari Mona-Lisa, MD
  • Reponen Annakaisa, MD

Other staff

  • Hietala Asta, Study Nurse
  • Niemelä Eija, Study Nurse
  • Niiranen Marketta, study coordinator, MSc (nutrition)
  • Sohlo Laura, Study assistant, Undergraduate Student of Health Science


Where are we headed

Our studies are currently in intervention phase. In years 2014-2016 the goal of our research will be the data analyzing and writing scientific articles. This phase will began after one year follow-up visitis (year 2014). Data analyzes will be done after every follow-up visit. 


Our main collaborators

Professor Sari Lindeman, professor of psychiatry, University of Eastern Finland
Professor Markku Savolainen’s study group: Molecular Determinants of the Metabolic Syndrome, Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu
Professor Maija-Leena Huotari’s study group, Department of Information Studies at the University of Oulu, Finland
Professor Harri Oinas-Kukkonen’s study group, Information systems at the Department of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu
Docent Jaana Laitinen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu


How to find us

Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu
Clinical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital

Last updated: 9.7.2019