Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First comprehensive study into the health of Europe’s teens reveals concerning trends

23.04.2008
After three years of work, the EU funded research programme HELENA has revealed its initial results. It concludes that amongst European adolescents, approximately 27% of males and 20% of females are either overweight or obese. It also reveals for the first time at European level, food intake and physical activity patterns for adolescents.
The importance of understanding teenage health
The Helena Study was conceived to understand and effectively enhance nutritional and lifestyle habits of 13 to 17 year old adolescents in Europe because healthy (or unhealthy) life-long habits find their routes during this crucial period in life and the number of overweight or obese children in the EU is rising by about 400 000 each year.

On the announcement of the HELENA findings at an International Symposium in Granada, Spain, Project Coordinator Professor Luis Moreno explains ”The HELENA Study provides us with the most complete picture ever gathered in Europe about the nutritional status and behaviour as well as the fitness and physical activity patterns of 3000 adolescents from 13 to 17 years old. It is the first time we will have a reliable picture of the situation, analysed using a common methodology across the ten EU countries*. This information will enable us to develop effective recommendations for the future.”

*The ten countries involved in the study: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Food consumption patterns
One of the most startling findings was the diet composition of adolescents across Europe. To exemplify, only 13% and 16% of teens respectively eat at least 200g of vegetables and at least two pieces of fruit each day. By comparison, 50% of adolescents had fat intakes higher than 35% of total energy intake.
Creation of important health indicators
There is a lot of scientific data available on obesity prevalence, however this is not the only chronic disease likely to burden today’s adolescents in the future. To gain a greater understanding of general health, the HELENA Study has created benchmark indicators for the precursors of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and cardio and cerebro vascular diseases. These data will be extremely valuable to public health experts as they chart the evolution of chronic diseases across Europe in the future.
The gender difference
The proportion of teens accumulating 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day was 58% in boys and only 31 % in girls. However girls scored better when their nutritional knowledge was tested answering 62% of the answers correctly.
Preventative measures & intervention studies
The 3 year research programme did not only look at current health status, it also studied the impact of intervention studies designed to promote moderate to vigorous physical activity and healthy eating. Both of these 3-month computer-based interventions had some positive effects in increasing healthy eating (in particular, water, fibre and vegetable consumption) as well as physical activity behaviours.
Collaboration with European Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises
In an effort to find healthy alternatives to popular teen snack foods, a cereal based snack bar, a low fat hamburger and a wholegrain cereal drink were developed and tested. The results will be shared with the food industry as the popularity of the snack bar and hamburger will likely lead to commercial success.

For more information about the HELENA Study, please consult: www.helenastudy.com

Laura Smillie | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helenastudy.com
http://www.eufic.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>