RODAM – Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants


Obesity, diabetes mellitus, migration, ethnicity, aetiology, sub-Saharan Africa


Ghana, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany


The RODAM study assesses the health and wellbeing of Ghanaian residents in Ghana and Europe and follows them up over time. With this unique approach the RODAM study attempts to unravel the causes of cardio-metabolic disease and its risk factors among African migrants in Europe and non-migrants sub-Saharan Africa. Ina Danquah and her team lead the work on nutrition-related risk factors.


In five study sites (rural Ghana, urban Ghana, Amsterdam, London, Berlin), representative samples of almost 6000 Ghanaian adults were recruited between 2012 and 2015. The participants underwent physical examinations, questionnaire-based interviews, and biological sample collection. For the assessment of the usual diet, a Ghana-specific food propensity questionnaire was developed, tested, and applied by the German Institute for Human Nutrition – Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE). Follow-up examinations were conducted in rural Ghana, urban Ghana and Amsterdam between 2019 and 2021. The same data and sample collection methods were applied. For nutrition-related questions, we focus on dietary pattern construction, using data-driven, hypothesis-based and hybrid methods.

Main Cooperation Partners

  • Prof. Charles Agyemang and Prof. Karien Stronks, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam (AMC), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Liam Smeeth, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
  • Prof. Frank Mockenhaupt, Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ITMIH) and Prof. Joachim Spranger, Dean of Medical Faculty, Charité – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Ama de Graft-Aikins, Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Main Funding Partners

European Commission, 7th Framework Programme and European Research Council (ERC) (PI: Charles Agyemang)


  • Danquah I, Mank I, Hampe CS, Meeks KAC, Agyemang C, Owusu-Dabo E, Smeeth L, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Bahendeka S, Spranger J, Mockenhaupt FP, Schulze MB, Rolandsson O. Subgroups of adult-onset diabetes: a data-driven cluster analysis in a Ghanaian population. Sci Rep. 2023 Jul 4;13(1):10756. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-37494-2.
  • Osei TB, van Dijk AM, Dingerink S, Chilunga FP, Beune E, Meeks KAC, Bahendeka S, Schulze MB, Agyemang C, Nicolaou M, Holleboom AG, Danquah I. Reduced Rank Regression-Derived Dietary Patterns Related to the Fatty Liver Index and Associations with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among Ghanaian Populations under Transition: The RODAM Study. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 20;13(11):3679.
  • Assmus F, Galbete C, Knueppel S, Schulze MB, Beune E, Meeks K, Nicolaou M, Amoah S, Agyemang C, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Bahendeka S, Spranger J, Mockenhaupt FP, Smeeth L, Stronks K, Danquah I. Carbohydrate-dense snacks are a key feature of the nutrition transition among Ghanaian adults - findings from the RODAM study. Food Nutr Res. 2021 May 6;65.
  • Hampe CS, Sahabandu D, Kaiser V, Telieps T, Smeeth L, Agyemang C, Spranger J, Schulze MB, Mockenhaupt FP, Danquah I*, Rolandsson O*. Geographic location determines beta-cell autoimmunity among adult Ghanaians: Findings from the RODAM study. Immun Inflamm Dis. 2020 Sep;8(3):299-309. * both authors contributed equally
  • Danquah I, Addo J, Boateng D, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Meeks K, Galbete C, Beune E, Bahendeka S, Spranger J, Mockenhaupt FP, Stronks K, Agyemang C, Schulze MB, Smeeth L. Early-life factors are associated with waist circumference and type 2 diabetes among Ghanaian adults: The RODAM Study. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 26;9(1):10848.
  • Galbete C, Nicolaou M, Meeks K, Klipstein-Grobusch K, de-Graft Aikins A, Addo J, Amoah SK, Smeeth L, Owusu-Dabo E, Spranger J, Agyemang C, Mockenhaupt FP, Beune E, Stronks K, Schulze MB, Danquah I. Dietary patterns and type 2 diabetes among Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana: the RODAM study. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Apr 25;8(1):25.
  • Danquah I, Galbete C, Meeks K, Nicolaou M, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Addo J, Aikins AD, Amoah SK, Agyei-Baffour P, Boateng D, Bedu-Addo G, Spranger J, Smeeth L, Owusu-Dabo E, Agyemang C, Mockenhaupt FP, Beune E, Schulze MB. Food variety, dietary diversity, and type 2 diabetes in a multi-center cross-sectional study among Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana: the RODAM study. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Dec;57(8):2723-2733.
  • Galbete C, Nicolaou M, Meeks KA, de-Graft Aikins A, Addo J, Amoah SK, Smeeth L, Owusu-Dabo E, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Bahendeka S, Agyemang C, Mockenhaupt FP, Beune EJ, Stronks K, Schulze MB, Danquah I. Food consumption, nutrient intake, and dietary patterns in Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana. Food Nutr Res. 2017 Jul 6;61(1):1341809
  • Osei-Kwasi HA, Boateng D, Danquah I, Holdsworth M, Mejean C, Terragni L, Powell K, Schulze MB, Owusu-Dabo E, Meeks K, Beune E, Agyemang C, Klipstein- Grobusch K, Stronks K, Galbete C, Nicolaou M. Acculturation and Food Intake Among Ghanaian Migrants in Europe: Findings From the RODAM Study. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2020 Feb;52(2):114-125.
  • Agyemang C, Meeks K, Beune E, Owusu-Dabo E, Mockenhaupt FP, Addo J, de Graft Aikins A, Bahendeka S, Danquah I, Schulze MB, Spranger J, Burr T, Agyei-Baffour P, Amoah SK, Galbete C, Henneman P, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Nicolaou M, Adeyemo A, van Straalen J, Smeeth L, Stronks K. Obesity and type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africans - Is the burden in today's Africa similar to African migrants in Europe? The RODAM study. BMC Med. 2016 Oct 21;14(1):166.
  • Agyemang C, Beune E, Meeks K, Addo J, Aikins AD, Bahendeka S, Danquah I, Mockenhaupt FP, Schulze MB, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Smeeth L, Stronks K. Innovative ways of studying the effect of migration on obesity and diabetes beyond the common designs: lessons from the RODAM study. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Mar;1391(1):54-70.
Duration of the Project

4 years (01 Jan 2012 – 30 Sep 2015) 7th framework programme

5 years (01 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2022) Consolidator grant

Project Homepage

  • Prof. Dr. Ina Danquah
  • Tracy Bonsu Osei (candidate Dr. med.)
  • Alice Rodriguez Rein (candidate M.Sc.)
  • Alexandra Meus (candidate Dr. med.)


Ina Danquah

Prof. Dr. Ina Danquah


Project Homepage
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