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Strategies for Healthful Eating


While a sampling of Norwegians think the food industry and government should play bigger roles in convincing them to adhere to a more healthful diet, they balk at being prevented from eating whatever they want.

A randomly selected group of 1,178 Norwegians answered questions from Marije Oostindjer of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and a few of her colleagues about strategies to promote more healthful eating. The questions included: What initiatives are the most effective? Which subgroups of the citizenry should be targeted? And who should be given the main responsibility for implementing such strategies?

While most respondents agreed that much of the responsibility for eating better rests with the individual, they called on government and industry to promote better eating, and also said the food industry should develop more healthful offerings and limit advertising for less healthful foods. Some people suggested more intensive educational programs about diet and healthful food choices be presented to students, parents and school staff members.

While many Norwegians are eating better, the number of obese Norwegians has doubled since the 1980s and about half of all adults in Norway are overweight.