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Photo: Fyrishov Uppsala

Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Food Habits for Children with ADHD

Research project
Active research
Project period
2021 - 2023
Project owner
Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science

Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science

Short description

The research project "Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Food Habits for Children with ADHD" focuses on children diagnosed with ADHD and their encounters with food, meals, and sports in their everyday lives. The study explores the children's own experiences; what they perceive as positive, and what challenges they face.


Neuropsychiatric disorders including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and lifestyle habits has become a debated topic in science. However, there is not much scientific research published where children diagnosed with ADHD are included in the discussion. In this research project, our aim is to explore children's experiences with food, meals, and sports. What do children with ADHD perceive as joyful and satisfying, and what obstacles do they encounter? Increased knowledge about the children's experiences can serve as a foundation for promoting physical activity and fostering healthy food habits among this group.

Research questions

The primary objectives of this study are to:

  • Explore the children's experiences of food and meals, with a specific focus on promoting a physically active lifestyle;
  • Investigate the significance of food, meals, and sports for children with ADHD across different levels of physical activity;
  • Examine the perspectives of coaches and leaders on how to mitigate challenges and promote positive aspects of sports participation, in relation to food and diet.

Methods and Implementation

The study includes children aged 11-15 who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Contributing with knowledge grounded in the children's own experiences is of great importance. Therefore, the project adopts a child-centered research methodology, and employs various qualitative data collection methods.


The research findings will provide valuable insights for health promotion efforts targeting the specific target group. The project also intends to contribute to child-centered guidelines that sports organizations can use in their efforts to promote physical activity and healthy food habits for a physically active life.