State Award for Public Information 2019: Pertti Mustajoki

Pertti Mustajoki.

Professor Pertti Mustajoki received a lifetime award for extremely important long-term public information work in the field of health and healthy living.

Pertti Mustajoki (25 April 1943) is a doctor of internal medicine specialising in metabolic diseases. For more than thirty years, he has been writing and speaking about weight management and promoted changes in lifestyle by providing individual and group advice to thousands of people suffering from being overweight.

Being overweight is a serious health risk. Many common illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular illnesses are associated with being overweight. More than two million people in Finland are overweight. Half of them are struggling with weight loss and are repeatedly trying to lose weight. The message founded on the scientific research that Mustajoki has been summing up for years is that restricting one’s eating through various diets is a terrible way of permanently losing weight. From the mass of research results available, Mustajoki has gathered and curated ways through which the number of calories eaten can be reduced and weight can be lost without going on a strict diet. Thus he has given hope to overweight people suffering the yo-yo effect of a maelstrom of diets: permanent weight loss is possible.

Mustajoki has published numerous books on weight management. Laihdu pysyvästi (Lose weight permanently) was published for the first time in 1988. This was followed by works including Paahtoleipäkatastrofi (The toast catastrophe) (2003), Ylipaino – tietoa lihavuudesta ja painonhallinnasta (Being overweight – information about being fat and weight management) (2007), Painonhallinta (Weight management) (2010) and finally Vähennä kaloreita ilman dieettiä (Cutting calories without dieting) (2016). In addition to the books, he has put in hard work writing articles geared towards the general public in newspapers and magazines and answering readers’ questions. Pertti Mustajoki also has a large number of medical publications to his name; he has published almost 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters. His blog Painonhallinta – kirjoituksia ylipainosta ( gathers together tens of current articles for people struggling with their weight. Mustajoki is a popular speaker, who says that especially through visiting small groups he has gained a deeper understanding of the difficulties that overweight people face.

Despite the increase in obesity, only very few, if any, Finnish experts have spoken as faithfully and untiringly about being overweight, in information published for the general public, as professor Pertti Mustajoki.

Read more in the Ministry of Education and Culture's press release

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