Road map towards a harmonized pan-European surveillance of obesity-related lifestyle behaviours and their determinants in children and adolescents
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To develop a road map towards a harmonized pan-European surveillance system for children and adolescents.
Representatives of five European surveillance systems and the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents contributed to the road map through a structured workshop in 2016.
A conceptual framework for this road map was developed with seven action points (APs) guiding the successive cross-country harmonization. First, key indicators of health behaviour and their determinants in children and adolescents will be identified (AP1, 2); short screening instruments will be developed and implemented to assess and monitor key indicators (AP3, 4). In parallel, optional supplementary modules could be implemented to provide objective data (AP5). This would allow mutual calibration and improvement of existing instruments before their progressive replacement by more comparable measurement tools (AP6). The establishment of a competence platform is envisaged for guiding the harmonization process (AP7).
This approach builds on existing systems, provides comparable key health indicators across European regions, helps to assess temporal trends and—once in place—will facilitate health reporting and monitoring of national and international health targets.
KeywordsSurveillance Policy evaluation Health Diet Physical activity Sedentary behaviour
Automated Self-Administered 24-h Recall
Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity
European Core Health Indicators
Expert Group on Health Information
European Food Safety Authority
European Health Interview Survey
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Health Behaviour in School-aged Children
- HEPA PAT
Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Policy Audit Tool
International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support
German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
World Health Organization
WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative
24-h dietary recall
All authors were closely involved in the development of the conceptual framework and provided the discussion section related to their field of expertise. All authors provided feedback and contributed to further versions. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work is supported by the Joint Programming Initiative ‘A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’. The funding agencies supporting this work are (in alphabetical order of participating country): Germany: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); The Netherlands: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw); Norway: The Research Council of Norway, Division for Society and Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Human and animal rights
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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