HELENA Objectives

The main objective of the project is to obtain reliable and comparable data of a representative sample of European adolescents, concerning: foods and nutrients intake, food choices and preferences, obesity prevalence, dislipidemia, insulin resistance, vitamin and minerals status, immunological markers for subclinical malnutrition, physical activity and fitness patterns, and variations of the nucleotide sequence in selected genes.

This will contribute to understand why health-related messages are not being as effective as expected in the adolescent population. The requirements for health promoting foods will also be identified, and three sensory acceptable products for adolescents will be developed.

This general objective will be achieved through the following specific objectives:

  • To develop and harmonise innovative methods for the assessment of lifestyle habits of adolescents across Europe with special focus on diet, nutrition and physical activity.
  • To assess dietary and physical activity patterns as well as nutritional status among European adolescents
  • To investigate knowledge and attitudes towards nutrition and physical activity among adolescents and to establish the main determinants of their food choice and preference
  • To describe regional, cultural, social, genetic and gender differences and similarities across Europe
  • To identify adolescents at risk of eating disorders, dislipemia, obesity and/or type 2 diabetes
  • To develop a number of healthy foods and identify marketing strategies for consumers, in order to improve the diet of adolescents.
  • To develop a Lifestyle Education Programme and test its efficacy for improving adolescentsĀ“ health