Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries of the WHO European Region since the 1980s, and the numbers of those affected continue to rise at an alarming rate. In addition to causing various physical disabilities and psychological problems, excess weight drastically increases a person’s risk of developing a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

Overweight and obesity are important public health problems in the European Region. (WHO, 2018) Globally, 38,3 million children are overweight (with an increase of 8 million more overweight children in 2017 than in 2000) and in Europe today 1 child out of 3 is obese (Unicef). “COVID-19 could potentially amplify one of the most worrying trends in the WHO European Region – growing childhood obesity,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. Weight excess is one of the major risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, orthopedic problems, cancer etc in adulthood.  Moreover, overweight and obesity have also important psychological implications, as a matter of fact, they could alter body perception and reduce self–esteem with repercussions on social life.

The prevalence of overweight shows a negative gradient based on social position across Europe. Overall, children belonging to a lower socioeconomic status show the highest prevalence of obesity.  In 2013, during the “Vienna Declaration on Nutrition and Non-Communicable Diseases in the Context of Health 2020, among the objectives to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce non-communicable diseases was the role of the implementation of effective programmes to promote healthy diets, encourage physical activity and to prevent childhood obesity.  

Information about healthy eating habits should be provided even before birth to promote healthier nutrition education in the family and in the wider school environment. There is a series of studies that focus explicitly on the association between social exclusion and obesity.  

Mission and Vision

It is the Stealth Project's mission to raise awareness of the importance of healthy nutrition using the STEM approach and combat social exclusion associated with obesity.  


Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Although the effects of obesity on children's physical health are well documented, the social consequences of obesity are less well described and may not be addressed in intervention programs. Weight bias may take several forms. It may result in teasing and discrimination and may affect employment and educational opportunities. Healthy people learn better and are more productive.

​Moreover, the project employs ethnographic and historical approaches to compare different avenues of food heritage-making. The comparative perspective is crucial to allow for a differentiated understanding for why and how food and culinary heritage have been increasingly promoted. The research addresses the role of food in the formation of past and present identities, in the integration of social groups into the global economy, and in the attribution of value to people and substances involved in this process.  

The crucial point on which the project is focusing is an educational path, therefore, is that of the relationship between what we are and what we eat: if, as supported by the medical scientific tradition, there is such an intimate connection of causality, this certainly known from an early age to become a basic competence of the individual. It cannot be said that interventions in schools aimed at promoting good nutrition have been missed, but evidently, they have not proved to be completely effective, given that the statistics speak of an increase in childhood obesity, which in turn becomes a prerequisite for the onset of corneal diseases in adulthood, with the natural deterioration of health and the associated costs for European health systems. In this sense the project is addressed to supporting individuals in acquiring and developing basic skills and key competences by the means that it aims to "stimulate critical thinking in consideration of the cultural and / or environmental context. The project has a specific focus on the relationship between nutrition/ health discrimination and cultural. The context in which the project moves is that of food education in schools.

Through Stem experiences, the students acquire an awareness of what is food, in the perspective of strengthening the abilities of individuals to consciously determine their food choices, with advantageous consequences in health and anti-discrimination sense. But the project aims to be innovative not only in relation to the content, but also with regard to the methodology and tools used, and in this sense, it can be addressed to the promotion of open education and innovative practices in a digital era. The methodology focuses on STEM approach. The educational contents will in fact be re-elaborated by the children through the language of computer programming in the digital environment, accompanying them in the development of small ICT "artefacts" created through the scatch.com platform (or another equivalent), through which to express their vision, personal and reworked, of the relationship between what we are and what we eat. The piloting will create the bases for a STEM curriculum to guide children and families to understand what healthy nutrition is. One of the project goals will be to empower school teachers and operators to become a catalyst for health literacy at the early school level to act as leverage of interaction with the families and the social environment as a whole: thus, the action can be addressed also to support teachers in developing innovative