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Kirsikka  Aittola

Kirsikka Aittola

Doctoral Researcher

MSc (Food and Nutrition), Authorized Nutritionist, PhD Student

Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

I am an early stage researcher, nutritionist and expert of food sciences. I currently work at the Stop Diabetes (StopDia) project in the Department of Clinical Nutrition in Kuopio. The StopDia study was set to create and implement evidence-based and digitally supported strategies for the prevention of type 2 diabetes at population level in three regions in Finland. It is funded by the Strategic Research Council and lasts until year 2019. I take care of practical issues of the StopDia randomized controlled trial and handle the RCT data.

I am interested in eating behavior and eating competence of the StopDia study participants, who are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. With my study I hope to enhance knowledge on eating-related behavior and it’s association with obesity and type 2 diabetes. My goal is to find more efficient ways to make long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes and to conduct effective lifestyle interventions in healthcare and thus, preventing type 2 diabetes.

I’d like to build a research network. I am also active in social media and write nutrition-related blog posts.


I am a PhD researcher in nutrition science, a licensed dietitian and an expert in food science. I am currently working on the Kuopio campus in the Unit of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition in the Stop Diabetes (StopDia) project. The goal of the StopDia study was to create and implement ways to prevent type 2 diabetes in Finland based on scientific evidence and utilize digital tools. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland, Strategic Research. I take care of the practical matters of the randomized controlled trial StopDia, communication and analyse data. I also work in the T2D-Data project, which aims to find out who will benefit from using the BitHabit app in terms of type 2 diabetes prevention.

I also work as a nutrition expert in the national FOODNUTRI project, where we develop a measure of diet quality, the Healthy Diet Index, as a digital app for health promotion and health care services. The goal of the Healthy Diet Index app is to improve the effectiveness of nutritional counselling.

In my dissertation, I study the quality of the diet, the Healthy Diet Index, and eating behavior, more specifically the Satter Eating competence, and their connection to risk factors for type 2 diabetes in the StopDia data. With my research, I hope to increase knowledge on eating-related behavior and its connection to obesity and type 2 diabetes. My goal is to find more effective ways to make long-term health-promoting lifestyle changes, implement effective lifestyle interventions in healthcare and municipalities, and thereby prevent type 2 diabetes.

I would like to build my research network. I am also active on Twitter and I like to participate in nutrition communication.


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