Prof. Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong

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


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 health research and head of research at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Leiden University Medical Center. 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, see her CV here


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 studies the health impacts of dietary and lifestyle factors. 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 particular for vulnerable populations. In this context, she is studying environmental determinants (i.e. related to the food environment) and the impact of food insecurity and (adverse) life events (i.e. key transition moments in life) for which 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.


The research of Prof. dr. J.C. Kiefte-de Jong is part of the research line "Prevention, Population Care and Disease Management" at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the Leiden University Medical Center. The researchprojects are organized around the theme's "Nutrition and Lifestyle", "Lifecourse" and "Epidemiology". Meet the researchers and their supervisors here:

Nutrition & Lifestyle




Book contributions

Selected Publications

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



Lifestyle4health podcast

Listen to the discussion between Dr. Suzan Wopereis and Prof. dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong on measuring health and resilience in the context of lifestyle interventions

Lifestyle4Health · #009 Goede gezondheid is voor iedereen hetzelfde?!

NFU paralelsessie Preventie

Watch the round table discussion on the role of university medical centers in prevention with Jedidja Verboom, Daan de Frel, Marc Rinkes and Frank van Nieuwpoort led by Prof. dr. Pim Assendelft and Prof. dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong (in Dutch).

Congres WELZO in Leiden: Een gezonde populatie...maar hoe dan?

Watch the lecture on healthy populations with Prof. dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong (in Dutch).

Research seminar Population Health Management in older people

Watch the research seminar with Prof. dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong, Prof. dr. Jacobijn Gussekloo and Dr. Jenny van der Steen on population health management and proactive care in elderly.

Lifestyle medicine and context

Watch the talk between Dr. Rimke Vos and Prof. Kiefte about the importance of lifestyle medicine.

Gesprek Jessica Kiefte from Whisky Friday on Vimeo.

Inaugural lecture

On January 24, 2020 Prof. dr. Kiefte-de Jong gave her inaugural lecture "Health Promotion: Big data vs Small talk" at Leiden University.


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


March 4, 2022: As part of the European City of Science activities in Leiden I spoke on the balance between body weight and the pros and cons of putting to much emphasis on body weight. Listen to the radio interview at "Radio Weetlust" here and the blog of the organization "Proud2BeMe" here

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

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.



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