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universidade lusófona

HEALTHY WEIGHT MANAGEMENT in judo practitioners. HEalthy WEight MAnagement (HEWEMA)

Note that this not a project under CIDEFES leadership

Funding type



17/06/2021 - 01/01/2022 to 30/06/2024

Principal Investigator

José Morales (Ramon Llull University, Spain)

Investigators from the CIDEFES

Este projeto está a ser desenvolvido no âmbito da Universidade Lusófona e da Federação Portuguesa de Judo

  • Luís Fernandes Monteiro
  • Luís Massuça


  • Emanuela Pierantozzi, University of Genova (Italy)
  • Maria Grazia Valenzano (Italy);
  • Sanda Corak (Croatia);
  • Sertic Hrvoje (Croatia);
  • Vicent Carratalá (Spain)


The Healthy Weight Management (HEWEMA) project is aimed at all participants in judo and, more broadly, at all athletes who take part in combat sports.

Participants in combat sports are usually divided into weight classes. The goal is to ensure that athletes are matched with appropriate opponents. However, many participants in these sports seek to compete in as low a weight class as they can, and they often attempt to reach weights lower than their natural body mass in order to gain an advantage in competition by being matched with lighter, less strong opponents. To accomplish this weight loss, they often follow very aggressive regimes such as restricting food and liquid intake and intentional sweating.

These practices have implications for athletes’ health and performance. At the same time, this rapid weight loss can stand in the way of fair play and fly in the face of the spirit of the sport, especially when it leads to unfair matchups in competitions.

With this in mind, the goals of this project are to foster a healthy approach to physical activity and to contribute to fair play in combat sports. The first phase of the project will consist of studies to diagnose the most frequent weight management patterns among athletes in judo competitions. The second phase will be made up of educational interventions aimed at coaches, athletes and other stakeholders, with an emphasis on good eating habits and on cutting down on plastic waste. Then, there will be a final validation phase in which the intervention will be carried out with a group of athletes, who will be closely monitored.

The results of the project will be shared via reports and scientific articles, which will outline the empirical basis of the intervention programs. The resulting materials will be available to EU members and to athletes in other sports with similar weight management issues associated with weight classes.