NCU Common Actions for the Prevention of Overweight and Obesity among Children (NCU-CAPOC)

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of our time, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in the Nordic countries is worrying. Children and youth with overweight and obesity have a higher risk of carrying these conditions into their adulthood. At the same time, there is strong evidence a high BMI increases the risk of at least 13 different cancers.

It is therefore of at most importance to prevent overweight and obesity among children and youth in the Nordic countries with particular focus on actions that will mitigate the societal and structural causes of overweight and obesity, and thereby reduce cancer risk and improve Nordic populations’ health and well-being in the future.

To that end, the Nordic Cancer Union is funding a three-year cooperation between the Nordic countries’ cancer societies with the aim of advocating for the implementation of a Nordic Action Plan for the prevention of overweight and obesity among children.

A work group rooted in the Nordic cancer societies will develop evidence-based recommendations for effective policy initiatives in the prevention of overweight and obesity among children and youth in the Nordic countries. A common Nordic survey will measure support for the implementation of such measures and policies in the Nordic countries.

The projects results and recommendations will be presented to members of the Nordic Council of Ministers and other relevant stakeholders in a public conference held in 2024.

Contact: Gitte Laub Hansen mobile +45 30 65 10 14

Strategic project: Covid-19 and cancer in the Nordic region

The NCU Board allocated 200.000 euro for a Strategic research project on Covid-19 and cancer in the Nordic region in 2021 – 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all Nordic countries. In addition to the direct effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), preliminary data suggest that the pandemic has had an indirect impact on health, including the provision of timely cancer care. Cancer screening programs were temporarily stopped, delayed, or experienced reduced attendance, and cancer patients in general may have experienced delays in diagnostics and treatment. The magnitude of the COVID-19 impact on cancer diagnostics and care in the Nordic countries is currently unknown.

The project aims to estimate these effects.

Among those infected with SARS-CoV-2, evidence is conflicting on whether cancer patients are at higher risk than the general population of developing serious complications as reflected in hospitalizations, respiratory failure and death. Many of the first studies attempting to address these questions were based on case series or hospital-based collection of cases, precluding firm conclusions. Population-based data are needed to further clarify possible associations between cancer and COVID-19 outcomes.

The project aims to provide such data.

The project takes advantage of the Nordic cancer registry collaboration, the five Nordic population-based cancer registries, as well as other Nordic health registry data.

By combining high-quality population-based registry data from the Nordic countries a number of questions relating to COVID-19 and cancer will be adressed. The Nordic countries with a combined population of 27 million inhabitants provide an optimal setting for addressing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For further information: Giske Ursin, Director and Professor, Cancer Registry of Norway,


NCU has supported e.g. NORDCAN, the Summer School in Cancer Epidemiology, the Association of Nordic Cancer Registries along with many smaller projects.

NCU Board decided 8. May 2019 to support NORDCAN 2019 – 2021.

January 1st 2019, the secretariat of NORDCAN moved from the Danish Cancer Society to the Cancer Registry of Norway. One of the main tasks of the new secretariat the next three years, in addition to facilitating the existing NORDCAN-cooperation, is to lead the project of the upcoming transition, modernization and harmonization of the whole NORDCAN-platform. To secure continuous sharing of data between the Nordic countries, the secretariat and IARC, there is a need to move from a centralized data processing in the secretariat to localized data processing in each Nordic country.

The main tasks of the NORDCAN-group, the IT-group and the secretariat is to make all necessary specifications for both the harmonization and quality assurance of the localized data processing and for a new web platform.

Strategic projects