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Heilsa - Sjúkrakassagrunnurin


Dietary intake and physical activity in young Faroese teenagers and the relation with family socio economic indicators and health


Marin Strøm

Megindeildin fyri Náttúru og heilsuvísindi, Fróðskaparsetur Føroya

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Dietary habits and physical activity among children and adolescents have become a recurring motif in the debate of health politics and with good reason: first, they are as a rule modifiable and as such can be the target of prevention or health promotion initiatives; second, research has documented that diet and physical activity during teenage years impacts on growth and development and risk of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, cancer and several other chronic disorders much later in life.

The Faroe Islands are generally thought to be a homogenous society, but very little is known about the distribution of health related behaviours among the younger population. We propose a study to investigate food habits, dietary intake and physical activity among all 14-15 year old children in the Faroe Islands; and, on the same occasion, to collect data on health and wellbeing from the children, and on socioeconomic indicators and other background characteristics from the parents of these young teenagers.

To the best of our knowledge, no such detailed data on diet and physical activity in adolescence is available in the Faroe Islands, and no previous study has investigated the social patterns of lifestyle factors and immediate health related outcomes in any age group in the Faroe Islands. In consequence, the study that we propose will be important, both in regard of the descriptive results that will be conveyed from the data collected, but even more with regard to the possibilities and future perspective of conducting follow up studies investigating the impact of lifestyle and social indicators in adolescence on health and disease in adult life, and even at old age.

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