Getting in Shape: Government Action on Child and Adolescent Physical Activity in Norway
In social democracies, improving physical activity is arguably the role of the government. Because physical activity and nutrition are factors associated with strong health outcomes, it is important to design effective policies to improve the activity level and nutritional intake among some of the nation’s most vulnerable population groups: children and adolescents. With access to large data and refined scientific methods, determining if government policies, initiatives, and investments are effective is becoming less challenging. This review identifies the ways in which Norway’s government is participating in current country-level interventions to improve physical activity and nutrition in its child and adolescent populations. Empirical studies assessing the impact of Norway’s physical activity- or nutrition-related policies, programs, or initiatives were reviewed. The analysis found three main types of government initiatives: national strategies; school-based programs; and daylight saving time. However, these initiatives led to only limited changes to actual physical activity levels in these population groups. Results suggest that the government should use evidence-based policy making to design future initiatives aimed at reducing sedentary time, increasing physical activity, and improving nutritional habits in children and adolescents.
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