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Dr. Ellen M. I. Ersfjord

Researcher at Regional centre for obesity research, St. Olavs Hospital

Mail: ellen.ersfjord@stolav.no

Topic: Children’s views of how living in a rural community affect children’s public health


In Norway, children are seldom involved in health promotion, even though they are about 25 % of the Norwegian population. In this paper I will present findings from a project called “KOMPASS” – Municipal customized prevention and treatment – overweight and obesity amongst children in rural areas, where we involved children as co-researchers in order to get insight into their perspectives on how living in a rural area affects their health. Based on The HUNT Study – a longitudinal population health study in Norway, we know that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is much higher in rural areas. Research also shows that living in a rural area is an independent risk factor for being or becoming overweight or obese. In order to get more insight into these risk factors, we involved children as co-researchers in order to investigated their perspectives on public health, more specifically within the themes of diet, physical and activity.

My work is localized within the framework of social studies of children and childhood, which means that childhood is understood as a socially constructed phenomenon within different local, cultural, and generational contexts. Within this framework, children are seen as competent social actors with agency.

Go back to the workgroup WG 10