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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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Physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Physical activity reduces the risk of all-cause mortality and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain type of cancers (Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee 2008, NNR 2012). Physical inactivity has been identified as one of the leading risk factors for major non-communicable diseases and mortality (WHO 2009, Lee et al. 2012). Research suggests that sedentary behaviour may also be a risk factor, independent of physical activity, for adverse health outcomes among adults (Thorp et al. 2011, Stamatakis et al. 2011, Dunstan et al. 2012). Too much sitting is related to cardiovascular disease risk, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and premature mortality.

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