Prof. Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong

Academic expertise: Population Health - Nutrition and lifestyle - Non-communicable diseases - Life-course Epidemiology


January 24, 2020 : It was an honor to finally give my inaugural lecture “Health Promotion: Big data versus Small talk”. About how everything along the life course is connected with current societal health challenges and the need to act beyond the traditional boundaries that we are used to in scientific research, medical education as well as health care. Read the full text (in Dutch) here here

December 2, 2019 : With Lifestyle4Health (TNO/LUMC) we published the scientific bundle on lifestyle medicine. Read it here

September 10, 2019 : NRC published an article on our work on food insecurity and teachable moments towards lifestyle change at LUMC. Find it here

September 3, 2019 : We had an inspiring conference at our LUMC Campus in The Hague on the essentials of the first 1000 days of life and how policymakers, researchers and health professionals can contribute to a solid start for all children and their parents

May, 21, 2019 : Looking forward to contribute to a healthy The Hague by improving lifestyle as part of the National Diabetes Challenge.

January 23, 2019: Thanks to the Dekker Fellowship of the Dutch Heart Foundation we will set up the TEACHLIFE project, to study teachable moments towards lifestyle change at the LUMC Campus The Hague.


Welcome to the website of Prof. Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong is professor of Population Health with emphasis on lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Leiden University Medical Center and LUMC Campus The Hague. Before her appointment as full professor, she worked at the International Honours College of Leiden University (LUC), The Hague, and at the Department of Epidemiology and Pediatrics at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her primary research is focused on the role of nutrition and lifestyle on the risk of chronic diseases in different stages of life (eg. during pregnancy, childhood and adulthood) as well as psychosocial and environmental aspects of health behaviour. Jessica became a registered nutritionist at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. After that she obtained her MSc in Public Health Research and Nutrition at the VU University (The Netherlands). In 2012 she obtained a PhD in Early Life Nutrition from the Sophia Children's Hospital/Erasmus Medical Center (The Netherlands). In 2014 and 2016 she was a visiting researcher at Harvard School of Public Health (USA). For further details please see her CV here






  • For the full list of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed please click here

Selected Publications

  • Behrens P.A., Kiefte-de Jong J.C., Bosker, T., Dias-Rodrigues J.F., Koning A. de, Tukker A. (2017), Evaluating the environmental impacts of dietary recommendations, PNAS.
  • Voortman T., Kiefte-de Jong J.C., Ikram M.A., Stricker B.H., van Rooij F.J.A., Lahousse L., Tiemeier H., Brusselle G.G., Franco O.H., Schoufour J.D. (2017), Adherence to the 2015 Dutch dietary guidelines and risk of non-communicable diseases and mortality in the Rotterdam Study., Eur J Epidemiol.
  • Chowdhury R., Kunutsor S., Vitezova A., Oliver-Williams C., Chowdhury S., Kiefte-de-Jong J.C., Khan H., Baena C.P., Prabhakaran D., Hoshen M.B., Feldman B.S., Pan A., Johnson L., Crowe F., Hu F.B. & Franco O.H. (2014), Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort and randomised intervention studies., BMJ : g1903.
  • Pantavos A., Ruiter R., Feskens E.J., Keyser C.E. de, Hofman A., Stricker B.H., Franco O.H. & Kiefte-de Jong J.C. (2014), Total dietary antioxidant capacity, individual antioxidant intake and breast cancer risk: The Rotterdam study., International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer.
  • Kiefte-de Jong J.C., Mathers J.C. & Franco O.H. (2014), Nutrition and healthy ageing: the key ingredients., The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 73(2): 249-59.
  • Kiefte-de Jong J.C., Jaddoe V.W., Uitterlinden A.G., Steegers E.A., Willemsen S.P., Hofman A., Hooijkaas H. & Moll H.A. (2013), Levels of antibodies against tissue transglutaminase during pregnancy are associated with reduced fetal weight and birth weight., Gastroenterology 144(4): 726-735.e2.
    'refereed' artikel in tijdschrift
  • Research Projects

    Prof. dr. Kiefte-de Jong's research over the past 5 years evolves around two main pillars. The first pillar includes research on the role of nutrition and lifestyle along the life-course (i.e. during pregnancy, childhood and adulthood). Specifically, she studied dietary patterns since these are more informative than studying individual foods, because it reflects the real-life context of a combination of foods that people eat instead of specific products that are rarely eaten in isolation. These projects are embedded in the Rotterdam Study, a population-based prospective cohort study among middle-aged and elderly, as well as in the Generation R Study, a population-based birth cohort. In 2014 and 2016, she visited the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston USA to study the diet-dependent acid load hypothesis. Also, she is involved in several international consortia on projects on diet and non-communicable diseases. Since 2014, she is expanding her research line with a second pillar closely related to the field of population health and prevention, related to the sustainability of health behaviour from a psychosocial and environmental perspective. In this context, she is studying the environmental determinants and impact of dietary patterns and the extent of food insecurity in disadvantaged families in The Hague. Recently she received the Dekker fellowship of the Dutch Heart Foundation to study the concept of teachable moments (i.e. key transition moments in life) towards lifestyle change. Prof. Dr. Kiefte-de Jong has supervised more than 25 MSc students and 6 PhD students and is currenty (co-)promotor of 8 PhD students. She is (co-)author of more than 140 articles published in international peer-reviewed journals.



    TEACHLIFE project

    Learn more about the TEACHLIFE project of Prof. dr. Kiefte-de Jong, funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation.

    Pop-Up Lecture The Hague

    On May 18, 2018, Dr. Kiefte-de Jong provided a Pop-up lecture at the Hague Market on healthy nutrition together with Prof. Hanno Pijl.

    Radio Interviews

    On December 20, 2017, As part of the broadcast of 'Science017' for radio Sleutelstad FM in Leiden, Dr. Kiefte-de Jong commented on the national dietary guidelines and their impact on health and the environment. Listen to the commentary (in Dutch) here

    On December 13, 2017, Dr. Kiefte-de Jong was invited to comment on the environmental impacts of the Dutch dietary guidelines in 'Nieuws&Co' on Radio 1. Listen to the interview (in Dutch) here

    Flipped classroom

    The videos below are part of a flipped classroom project which was developed in collaboration with the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON) for the course on Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health at Leiden University College. A flipped classroom is a blended learning strategy that reverses the traditional learning where students gain first exposure to new theory outside of class, through short lecture videos, and then class time is used to apply and critically analyze the theories through strategies as case studies, exercises, journal clubs or debates.

    Lecture 1
    Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health

    Lecture 2
    Assessing health of a population

    Lecture 3
    Infectious diseases

    Lecture 4

    Lecture 5
    Epidemiology of Schistosomiasis

    Lecture 6
    Non-communicable diseases

    Lecture 7
    Epidemiology of Cardiovascular disease

    Lecture 8
    Cancer epidemiology

    Lecture 9
    Study design: case control

    Lecture 10
    Study design: cohorts

    Lecture 11
    Intervention studies

    Lecture 12

    Lecture 13
    Systematic reviews

    Partners & collaborators