The University of Copenhagen has a long-standing tradition of, and is internationally recognised for, research in the field of diabetes, metabolism, obesity and lifestyle.

Subsequent to the university merger in 2007 (in which The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University were merged into the University of Copenhagen) a joint development of research strategies identified Food, Fitness and Pharma for Health and Disease as one of the research platforms where the university would provide synergy and thus make the most out of its scientific diversity in ways that would be both visible and valuable (see the report ‘Meeting the future’).

The subsequent 5-year program UNIK 'Food, Fitness & Pharma’ was launched in 2009, and has, along with the establishment of The Novo Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in 2010, and the establishment of the August Krogh Center (AKC) at the Faculty of Sciences in 2012, strengthened the university's interdisciplinary research in lifestyle, obesity and metabolism.

Specifically, the ‘Food, Fitness & Pharma’ UNIK-initiative have strengthened existing and established novel interdisciplinary bridges between obesity researchers at the university, and Governing Obesity builds upon, and expand from, core people and projects of the ‘Food, Fitness & Pharma’ UNIK-initiative together with other researchers in novel collaborations, establishing a new level of truly integrated interdisciplinary obesity research.

Importantly, the ‘Food, Fitness and Pharma’ UNIK-initiative allowed a unique group of young scientists from different disciplines, who might not otherwise have met, to train and work closely together on the interdisciplinary obesity projects that paved the way for Governing Obesity.

The vision of Governing Obesity was to build upon and expand from core people and projects of Food Fitness & Pharma, and to establish a new level of truly integrated interdisciplinary obesity research by facilitating synergy between the disciplines while exploiting the scientific excellence in each of the disciplines.

Governing Obesity was based on an internal grant from the ‘UCPH Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research (2016)’ and financial support from the faculties and departments together with already obtained and external grants. The initiative ended by the end of 2017.