Graduated 1986 with a Diploma in Psychology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. In 1991 he received his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Clinical Psychology at the University of Göttingen.
From 1986 to 1991 he worked as a research fellow at the Nutritional Psychology Research Group of the University of Göttingen. Since 1995 Professor of Nutrition at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, since 2002 Professor of Nutritional and Health Psychology at the Department Health Sciences of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Currently, he is co-director of the Competence Center Health of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and Deputy-Head of the Department Health Sciences.
His research focus is on the development and evaluation of interventions to improve health. This includes interventions for health promotion, primary prevention as well as treatment of life-style associated conditions like obesity. This research included a variety of intervention types, like group and individual education and counselling programmes, internet-delivered programmes, and community-based interventions. The target groups of his work range from obese children, over obese adults to elderly people with and without migration background. Recently his research interests focus on improving health in urban neighbourhoods.