Trends in the dietary patterns and prevalence of obesity among Greenlandic school children

C Schnohr, J M Pedersen, M C G Alcón, T Curtis, P Bjerregaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to examine the trends in the dietary patterns of selected food items and in the prevalence of self-perceived obesity in a population of Greenlandic schoolchildren. STUDY DESIGN: The study is based on three school surveys among Greenlandic schoolchildren, class 6 to 11 in public schools, and contributing to the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study. Data are collected through self-completed questionnaires administered in the classroom. Three surveys have been carried out in Greenland in 1994, 1998 and 2002 with the participation of 2,999, 3,057 and 2,010 pupils, respectively. RESULTS: The intake of vegetables has increased significantly since 1994, and the intake of fruits, sweets and soft drink has decreased significantly at a 5% level. An unchanged high proportion of schoolchildren report to be on a diet or consider themselves obese. CONCLUSION: Most of the observed trends are positive, with regard to intake of vegetables and sweets and consumption of soft drinks. The fact that a high proportion of schoolchildren consider themselves to be obese must be assumed to have a negative impact on the psychological well-being of this population. The results of the survey can reveal changes which have occurred over time for the specified population. This knowledge can be used in public health work and planning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Circumpolar Health
Issue numberSuppl 2
Pages (from-to)255-58
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2004


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Greenland
  • Humans
  • Obesity
  • Prevalence
  • Questionnaires
  • Schools

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