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The Nordic Monitoring System 2011-2014

Status and development of diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol and overweight

image of The Nordic Monitoring System 2011-2014

This report describes the results of the first and second collection of data in the joint Nordic Monitoring System of diet, physical activity and overweight. It is well recognized that health in the European Region needs to be improved and Nordic public health researchers have since 2008 developed and validated a Nordic method to assess diet and physical activity among adults and children. Data has collected on health behaviour and overweight in 2011 and 2014 among 18,000 adults and 5,000 children. During the three year survey period, significant changes have occurred in the Nordic countries, especially among adults. The Nordic Monitoring System shows that lifestyle and weight status differ between the Nordic countries despite highly comparable societal structures. Favorable and unfavorable health behaviour is present in all countries and there are areas to be improved in all countries.

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Overview of results and discussion

The Nordic Monitoring System (NORMO) has now collected data for 2011 and 2014 among adults and children in the Nordic countries. The population levels and the development of diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and overweight/obesity and obesity in the Nordic region are shown in figure 9. A dietary quality score is used for describing the overall nutritional quality of the diet. The low scores, between 0–4, is a measure of a diet, which is unhealthy in several parameters e.g. low in fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, and/or fish and/or high in foods rich in saturated fat and added sugar. The low diet quality scores is used as a key variable and named “unhealthy diet”. The proportions of inactive (not meeting physical activity recommendations) and with high recreational screen time (> 4 h/day) are used as indicators of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, respectively. The prevalence of overweight/obesity (OW/OB) and obesity (OB) is calculated on basis of BMI levels – Overweight/obesity: BMI≥25, Obesity: BMI≥30.

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