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A common Nordic monitoring system on diet, physical activity and overweight

  • Published 04/03/2011
Nordic surveys on diet, physical activity, and overweight provide crucial information for the formulation of policies. The present project covers two parts – validation of indicator questions on diet and physical activity and establishment of a network on monitoring childhood growth.


From 01/01/2009
To 01/04/2011

The project builds upon a Nordic working group started in 2007 with the aim of establishing a common, Nordic monitoring system on diet, physical activity and overweight as an important element in the Nordic Plan of Action adopted by the Nordic Council of Ministers, June 2006.

The working group has suggested a questionnaire with indicators of diet and physical activity, which will be validated in the present project before possible implementation as a future Nordic monitoring system. Monitoring of overweight will be included in the questionnaire and the project will also establish a network on especially childhood growth. The project has received funding from both NICe and Nordic Council of Ministers (EK-FJLS/NKMT. The future monitoring system will be started in the autumn of 2010 at the earliest, if financing is provided.

The present project will provide crucial information about the feasibility of a study using indicators among children, adolescents and adults. The dietary indicators will provide information on how often selected foods and beverages are consumed and the indicators of physical activity will give information on duration and intensity of different activities. If the Nordic Council of Ministers decides to provide financing for the future monitoring system, the common monitoring can be implemented. The system will provide the general public and decision-makers with adequate and updated information on status and trends within the areas of diet, physical activity and overweight and promote Nordic cooperation in achieving common ambitions.  


Project managers:
Ellen Trolle and Sisse Fagt, National Food Institute, Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark

Project partners:
Lene Frost Andersen, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Sigmund Anderssen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Ingibjörg Gunnarsdottir, University of Iceland & Landspitali University hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
Thorarinn Sveinsson, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
Liisa Valsta, National Institute of health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
Tuija Tammelin, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
Wulf Becker, National Food Administration, Uppsala, Sweden
Gunnar Johansson, Swedish National Institute of Public Health. Östersund, Sweden
Carsten Obel, University of Århus, Århus, Denmark

Reference group
The reference group consists of representatives from the Nordic food industries, agricultural institutions and manufacturers of physical activity measurement devices, as well as other NICe project participants/leaders. The reference group's role is to give input, inspire the project development and share knowledge/information regarding future implications of outcome of the project, in order to increase knowledge and interest of using data obtained in a future monitoring system.