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Jessica Christina Kiefte - de Jong



Jessica Christina Kiefte - de Jong


Biographical Sketch

POSITION TITLE: Professor of Population Health with emphasis on lifestyle at LUMC


Institution and location Degree Completion Date Field of Study
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands BSc/RD 08/2004 Nutrition & Dietetics
VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands MSc 08/2008 Public Health, Research/Nutrition & Health
Erasmus University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Rotterdam, The Netherlands PhD 09/2012 Early life nutrition & Epidemiology

Personal Statement

My research over the past 5 years consists of two pillars. The first pillar includes research on the role of nutrition along the life-course (i.e. during pregnancy, childhood and adulthood) and cardiometabolic and gastrointestinal diseases. Specifically, she studies dietary patterns since these are more informative than studying individual foods, because it reflects the real-life situation 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, I visited the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston USA to study the diet-dependent acid load hypothesis. Also, I am involved in several international consortia on projects on diet and non-communicable diseases. Since 2014, I am expanding my research line with a second pillar closely related to the field of public health nutrition, related to the sustainability of diets from a psychosocial and environmental perspective. My team studies the environmental determinants and impact of dietary patterns and the extent of food insecurity in disadvantaged families in The Hague. Recently I received the Dekker fellowship of the Dutch Heart Foundation to study the concept of teachable moments towards dietary and lifestyle change. I have supervised more than 25 MSc students and 6 PhD students and I am currenty (co-)promotor of 5 PhD students. I have is (co-)authored more than 100 articles published in international peer-reviewed journals.

Positions and Honors

2019 –

Appointed Full Professor of Population Health, Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (1.0 fe), Leiden, The Netherlands

2019 –

Adjunct Faculty, Erasmus MC, Department of Epidemiology/Pediatrics, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

2014 – 2018

Assistant Professor (UD1), Leiden University College, The Hague, The Netherlands (0.8 fte of which 0.2 research, 0.2 management, 0.4 teaching, tenure-track, permanent)


Visiting researcher, Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, Boston USA (3 months, NWO Aspasia, Research Visit Grant)

2015 – 2018

Postdoctoral fellow (focus: Nutrition & Health), Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (0.2 fte, fixed-term)


Visiting researcher Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, Boston USA (3 months, EFSD Albert Renold Travel Fellowship)

2012  – 2014

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1 fte, permanent)

2009 – 2012

PhD fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1 fte, fixed term).

2006 – 2008  

Registered dietician, Department of Dietetics, VU University MC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (0.3 fte, fixed term)

2004 – 2005

Registered dietician, Department of Dietetics, Groene Hart Hospital, Gouda, The Netherlands (0.8 fte, fixed term)

2015: NWO Aspasia Fund (Leiden University- ‘Double Blind’)
2014: Nominated for Co-promotor of the year (Erasmus MC)
2014: Albert Renold Travel Fellowship (European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes)
2010: World Cancer Research Fund Fellowship (International course on Nutritional Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, UK)
2005: Novartis thesis prize for nutrition and dietetics
2005: KNAW/NVVL thesis prize for nutrition science

Contributions to Science

1. Supervision and mentorship:
Since 2012, I am a mentor and co-promotor of several PhD students focusing on research related to nutrition & health:
• Myrte Tielemans, Eating for two in pregnancy: health outcomes in pregnant women and their children (PhD-defense: 29-06-2016)
• Taulant Muka, Women’s health: implications of diet and cardiometabolic risk factors (PhD-defense:13-05-2016)
• Anna Vitezova, Vitamin D and cardiometabolic health (PhD-defense: 30-09-2015)
• Lisan Leermakers, Early life nutrition and cardiometabolic health across the life-course (PhD-defense: 13-05-2015)
• Ester de Jonge, Nutrition and body composition in the elderly (ongoing, expected defense in December 2016)
• Ilse Tromp, Early-life nutrition and respiratory outcomes (ongoing, expected defense in February 2017)
• Sanne Beth, Early-life determinants of celiac disease (ongoing since 2014)
• Sadaf Oliah Araghi, B-vitamins and age-related diseases (ongoing since 2015)

2. Dietary pattern analysis:
Dietary pattern analysis is an alternative approach to study the relationship between diet and the risk of chronic diseases; instead of looking at individual nutrients overall diets are studied. In 2012, I was one of the first to study specific dietary patterns in infancy and related health outcomes. Later, I have embedded this principle at the Epidemiology department and have applied it to various other research projects, such as with the development of food-based diet scores for specific health outcomes and the validation of pre-defined dietary guidelines (eg. the WHO and Dutch Healthy Diet guidelines), in close collaboration with other research groups and international consortia (i.e. CHANCES).
Relevant papers:
a. Voortman et al. Eur J Epidemiol. 2016
b. Van Lee et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016
c. De Jonge et al. Nutrients 2015
d. Leermakers et al. Clin Nutr. 2015
e. Tielemans et al. Nutrients. 2015
f. Van den Broek et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015
g. Van den Hooven et al. J Nutr. 2015
h. Jankovic et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015
i. Voortman et al. J Nutr. 2015
j. Kiefte-de Jong et al. Proc Nutr Soc. 2014
k. Kiefte-de Jong et al Maternal and Child Nutr. 2013
l. Kiefte-de Jong et al. Br J Nutr. 2013
m. Tromp II et al. Eur Resp J. 2012

3. Timing of food introduction and food hypersensitivity:
In 2007, I have developed a food frequency questionnaire to assess gluten intake in infants which have been implemented in the PreventCD study (http://www.preventcd.com), a European multicenter trial on the influence of gluten introduction and the development of celiac disease. Later during my PhD, I have further studied the role of timing of food allergens in the first year of life and gastrointestinal and allergic outcomes. These results have recently been used for guidelines on the introduction of allergenic foods in the first year of life in Youth Health Care. (Click here for Dutch guidelines for Food Hypersensitivity). In 2014, together with Prof. Henriette Moll, I have received a grant from NutsOhra to study the effects of subclinical celiac disease which have led to a larger collaborative project with Leiden University MC to evaluate whether screening for celiac disease is justified in the general population.
Relevant papers:
a. Beth et al. Acta Pediatr. 2016
b. Jansen et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014
c. Van Rossum et al. Br J Nutr. 2013
d. Kiefte-de Jong. Pediatrics. 2012
e. Tromp et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011
f. Kiefte-de Jong et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010
g. Hopman et al. Clin Nutr. 2007

Research Support

2018: Senior Den Dekker Fellowship, Hartstichting (Dutch Heart Foundation) ‘Teachable moments towards dietary behaviour change' (€412.087).


2018: Gemeente Den Haag (The Hague Municipality) ‘Psychosocial determinants of food insecurity’ (€97.000)


2017: Gemeente Den Haag (The Hague Municipality) 'Food security from a different perspective: nutrition and health in disadvantaged families in The Hague' (€  97.207)


2016: CLON Flipped classroom ‘Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health’ (€ 12.000)

2015: Den Dulk-Moermans Fonds ‘Dietary patterns, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and colorectal cancer’ (€ 20.000)

2013: NutsOhra (Moll/Kiefte-de Jong), ‘Celiac disease: the tip of the iceberg’ (€ 73.000)


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