Peter Bergsten obtained his medical training at Uppsala University, Sweden. In parallel he conducted cellular research focusing on development of type 2 diabetes. After receiving his PhD he was an International Fellow at the NIH, USA, and also spent a postdoctoral stay in Cambridge, UK. In 2008 he was appointed full professor at Uppsala University. At this time he had combined mechanistic cellular work with clinical studies conducted at the Uppsala University Children’s Hospital, where he is adjunct professor.
The translational studies were prompted by the rise in type 2 diabetes among children with obesity and also included clinical trials. The difficulty to treat childhood obesity prompted his prevention initiative ending ChildHood Obesity (ECHO) zone.
In ECHO zones the environment around the child is directed towards promoting healthy choices by long-term engagement of multiple actors in society. Evidence on what effectively and sustainably halts childhood obesity is built by collecting data on societal parameters and health parameters of individual children. Thereby causes for why some children benefit from an intervention and others not are identified, paving the way for personilized health approach.
As of 2021 he is the coordinator of the national initiative ECHO (https://swelife.se/en/vision-zero-childhood-obesity-by-the-school-start-of-2030/). He is engaged both in scientific (>110 publications) and public (debates and workshops) contexts promoting health among children.