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Body size and lifestyle in an urban population entering adulthood: the 'Grow up Gothenburg' Study.

Journal article
Authors Agneta Sjöberg
Marie-Louise Barrenäs
Ebba Brann
John Chaplin
Jovanna Dahlgren
Staffan Mårild
Lauren Lissner
Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland
Published in Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)
Volume 101
Issue 9
Pages 964-972
ISSN 1651-2227
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 964-972
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics


Aim:  To present data on body size, lifestyle and health status in students in their final year in high schools in Gothenburg area, Sweden, with specific attention to origin and gender. Methods:  Weight, height and waist circumference were measured by standardized procedures. Self-administered questionnaires described dietary habits, sleep, physical activity, body image, country of origin and general health. Results:  Eighty-six percent of participants, (2600 girls, 2714 boys, mean age 18.6 years) were of Nordic origin, 86% reported no chronic health problems and 14%/19% of girls/boys were overweight or obese. Girls consumed more vegetables and fruits and fewer sweet drinks than boys, while breakfast consumption was most common in Nordic groups. Boys reported more positive answers than girls regarding body image. Nordic girls had more negative body image and higher morbidity compared with other groups. Conclusion:  Within this generally healthy cohort, boys were more likely to be overweight/obese than girls, although paradoxically boys were more satisfied with their appearance. Nordic girls constitute a group with particularly high risk of reporting low body self-esteem and chronic morbidity. In the longer term, the current cross-sectional data on body size, lifestyle and health will provide important baseline information for future follow-up studies of health outcomes in later life.

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