Research on Diet in Adolescence

At SSI, we investigate important factors for establishment of dietary and physical activity habits in Danish adolescents, as well as the health effects of young people's dietary and physical activity habits.

Areas of Focus

In the large Danish nationwide study; the Danish National Birth Cohort, we asked the children to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire addressing diet and physical activity habits when they reached the age of 14. We investigated the validity of the questionnaire by comparing the answers with those obtained via three dietary recalls.

A major purpose of this data collection is to investigate factors with implications on the establishment of adolescents’ dietary and physical activity habits. Using multivariate statistical methods, we will investigate the importance of a number of factors, independent of each other, for adolescents’ choices and habits with regard to diet and physical activity. The investigated factors include; influence of the mother's education and age, the number of younger and older siblings in the family, and whether the family lives in, for example, a rural area or in a university city. This information is valuable when targeted initiatives are to be formulated for health promotion among Danish adolescents obtained through lifestyle changes.

Another goal is to enable us to investigate the consequences of adolescents’ dietary and physical activity habits for their later health and development. Through follow-up of the children in the Danish National Birth Cohort, we wish to examine relationships between diet and physical activity habits registered in the age of 14 and later health, including development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, overweight, asthma, allergy and behavioral problems as well as other mental problems.

Research Projects

"SMS-based learning project" for improving adolescents’ dietary habits

The project idea is based on two hypotheses: 1) According to new research, health behavior can be effectively influenced through social networks, and 2) SMS is the preferred type of communication among Danish adolescents. The goal is to find cost effective methods to create improvements in the dietary and physical activity habits of 14-16 years. The survey is conducted within the framework of Danish National Birth Cohort and include children who have completed a questionnaire about dietary and physical activity habits and agreed to participate in an SMS-based learning course on healthy diet and physical activity habits.

Sjurdur Frodi Olsen

Contact

Sjurdur Frodi Olsen , Centre Leader , Department of Epidemiology Research
T. +45 32683955 @. sfo@ssi.dk View profile