Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Suggs, L. Suzanne Della Bella, Sara and Marques-Vidal, Pedro 2016. Low adherence of Swiss children to national dietary guidelines. Preventive Medicine Reports, Vol. 3, p. 244.

    de Abreu, Daisy Guessous, Idris Gaspoz, Jean-Michel and Marques-Vidal, Pedro 2014. Compliance with the Swiss Society for Nutrition's Dietary Recommendations in the Population of Geneva, Switzerland: A 10-Year Trend Study (1999-2009). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 114, Issue. 5, p. 774.

    de Abreu, Daisy Guessous, Idris Vaucher, Julien Preisig, Martin Waeber, Gérard Vollenweider, Peter and Marques-Vidal, Pedro 2013. Low compliance with dietary recommendations for food intake among adults. Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 32, Issue. 5, p. 783.

    Verbeke, Wim Perez-Cueto, Federico J.A. de Barcellos, Marcia Dutra and Grunert, Klaus G. 2013. Pork in good company? Exploratory analysis of side dishes, beverages, foodscapes and individual characteristics. Meat Science, Vol. 95, Issue. 3, p. 694.

    Morrell, Jesse S. Lofgren, Ingrid E. Burke, Joanne D. and Reilly, Ruth A. 2012. Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, and Related Risk Factors Among College Men and Women. Journal of American College Health, Vol. 60, Issue. 1, p. 82.


Who eats healthily? A population-based study among young Swiss residents

  • Marietta Meier (a1), André Berchtold (a1), Christina Akré (a1), Pierre-André Michaud (a1) and Joan-Carles Surís (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 04 May 2010

To assess whether Swiss residents aged 15–24 years follow current nutritional guidelines and whether differences exist according to gender and weight status.


Cross-sectional national survey.




The 1786 participants (48·4 % women) were divided into overweight, normal weight and underweight. We used traditional BMI cut-offs for people ≥18 years of age (underweight = BMI < 18·5 kg/m2, normal weight = BMI ≥ 18·5 kg/m2 and <25 kg/m2, overweight = BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and age- and gender-appropriate tables for people aged <18 years, with BMI calculated from self-reported weight and height. We performed bivariate analyses by gender, and then bivariate and multivariate analyses comparing overweight to normal weight people (excluding underweight, n 129, 71·6 % women) regarding adherence to recommendations for fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products; physical activity; attitude towards body weight; depression, smoking and alcohol consumption.


Overall, adherence to nutritional guidelines was low, particularly for vegetables and dairy products. Women had a higher adherence than men except for fish and dairy products. In the multivariate analyses, overweight women had a lower vegetable intake, were less satisfied with body weight and had more often been on a diet, whereas overweight men were less satisfied with body weight and wanted to lose weight more often than their normal weight peers. There were no significant differences for physical activity.


Overweight prevention programmes should target youth specifically by gender and promote an appropriate self-perception. Overweight women should be encouraged to eat more vegetables and men to be more sensitised on healthy food. Further research is needed to assess how to make nutritional guidelines more adaptable to young people’s daily life.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Who eats healthily? A population-based study among young Swiss residents
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Who eats healthily? A population-based study among young Swiss residents
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Who eats healthily? A population-based study among young Swiss residents
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.M Eichholzer , F Bernasconi , P Jordan (2005) [Nutrition in Switzerland 2002 – results of the Swiss Health Survey]. Praxis (Bern 1994) 94, 17131721.

2.A Golay & J Ybarra (2005) Link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 19, 649663.

4.B Mathew , L Francis , A Kayalar (2008) Obesity: effects on cardiovascular disease and its diagnosis. J Am Board Fam Med 21, 562568.

5.EE Calle , C Rodriguez , K Walker-Thurmond (2003) Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of US adults. N Engl J Med 348, 16251638.

6.T Pischon , H Boeing , K Hoffmann (2008) General and abdominal adiposity and risk of death in Europe. N Engl J Med 359, 21052120.

7.LS Adair (2008) Child and adolescent obesity: epidemiology and developmental perspectives. Physiol Behav 94, 816.

9.J Shaw (2007) Epidemiology of childhood type 2 diabetes and obesity. Pediatr Diabetes 8, 715.

10.V Mikkila , L Rasanen , OT Raitakari (2004) Longitudinal changes in diet from childhood into adulthood with respect to risk of cardiovascular diseases: the cardiovascular risk in Young Finns Study. Eur J Clin Nutr 58, 10381045.

14.JC Suris , PA Michaud , I Chossis (2006) Towards a sedentary society: trends in adolescent sport practice in Switzerland (1993–2002). J Adolesc Health 39, 132134.

15.J Haines & D Neumark-Sztainer (2006) Prevention of obesity and eating disorders: a consideration of shared risk factors. Health Educ Res 21, 770782.

16.JL Tang-Peronard & BL Heitmann (2008) Stigmatization of obese children and adolescents, the importance of gender. Obes Rev 9, 522534.

19.D Neumark-Sztainer , M Story , PJ Hannan (2002) Overweight status and eating patterns among adolescents: where do youths stand in comparison with the Healthy People 2010 objectives? Am J Public Health 92, 844851.

21.PM Guenther , KW Dodd , J Reedy (2006) Most Americans eat much less than recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. J Am Diet Assoc 106, 13711379.

22.BI Deforche , IM De Bourdeaudhuij & AP Tanghe (2006) Attitude toward physical activity in normal-weight, overweight and obese adolescents. J Adolesc Health 38, 560568.

23.K Kromeyer-Hauschild , M Wabitsch , D Kunze (2001) Percentiles of body mass index in children and adolescents evaluated from different regional German studies. Monatsschr Kinderheilkd 149, 807818.

26.E Goodman & RC Whitaker (2002) A prospective study of the role of depression in the development and persistence of adolescent obesity. Pediatrics 110, 497504.

27.RC Kessler , G Andrews , D Mroczek (1998) The World Health Organization’s Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short From (CIDI-SF). Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 7, 171185.

28.MH Fasting , TI Nilsen , TL Holmen (2008) Life style related to blood pressure and body weight in adolescence: cross sectional data from the Young-HUNT study, Norway. BMC Public Health 8, 111.

29.S Croezen , TL Visscher , NC Ter Bogt (2009) Skipping breakfast, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity as risk factors for overweight and obesity in adolescents: results of the E-MOVO project. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, 405412.

30.H Schroder , JA Morales-Molina , S Bermejo (2007) Relationship of abdominal obesity with alcohol consumption at population scale. Eur J Nutr 46, 369376.

32.SK Kumanyika (2008) Environmental influences on childhood obesity: ethnic and cultural influences in context. Physiol Behav 94, 6170.

34.PC Austin & JV Tu (2004) Automated variable selection methods for logistic regression produced unstable models for predicting acute myocardial infarction mortality. J Clin Epidemiol 57, 11381146.

35.PC Austin & JV Tu (2004) Bootstrap methods for developing predictive models. Am Stat 58, 131137.

38.J Wardle , AM Haase , A Steptoe (2004) Gender differences in food choice: the contribution of health beliefs and dieting. Ann Behav Med 27, 107116.

39.I Kiefer , T Rathmanner & M Kunz (2005) Eating and dieting differences in men and women. J Mens Health Gender 2, 194201.

40.D Neumark-Sztainer , PJ Hannan , M Story (2004) Weight-control behaviors among adolescent girls and boys: implications for dietary intake. J Am Diet Assoc 104, 913920.

41.LA Lytle & MY Kubik (2003) Nutritional issues for adolescents. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 17, 177189.

42.NI Larson , D Neumark-Sztainer , L Harnack (2009) Calcium and dairy intake: longitudinal trends during the transition to young adulthood and correlates of calcium intake. J Nutr Educ Behav 41, 254260.

44.BC Tohill , J Seymour , M Serdula (2004) What epidemiologic studies tell us about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and body weight. Nutr Rev 62, 365374.

46.LA Bazzano (2006) The high cost of not consuming fruits and vegetables. J Am Diet Assoc 106, 13641368.

47.AG Kristjansdottir , I Thorsdottir , I De Bourdeauhuij (2006) Determinants of fruit and vegetable intake among 11-year-old schoolchildren in a country of traditionally low fruit and vegetable consumption. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 3, 41.

48.P Monsivais & A Drewnowski (2007) The rising cost of low-energy-density foods. J Am Diet Assoc 107, 20712076.

49.C Bouchard (2008) Gene–environment interactions in the etiology of obesity: defining the fundamentals. Obesity (Silver Spring) 16, S5S10.

50.C Cavadini , B Decarli , J Grin (2000) Food habits and sport activity during adolescence: differences between athletic and non-athletic teenagers in Switzerland. Eur J Clin Nutr 54, S16S20.

51.LB Robbins , A Sikorskii , LM Hamel (2009) Gender comparisons of perceived benefits of and barriers to physical activity in middle school youth. Res Nurs Health 32, 163176.

52.GJ Gibson (2000) Obesity, respiratory function and breathlessness. Thorax 55, Suppl. 1, S41S44.

54.RG McMurray , DS Ward , JP Elder (2008) Do overweight girls overreport physical activity? Am J Health Behav 32, 538546.

55.D Neumark-Sztainer & PJ Hannan (2000) Weight-related behaviors among adolescent girls and boys – results from a national survey. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 154, 569577.

56.F Kuchler & JN Variyam (2003) Mistakes were made: misperception as a barrier to reducing overweight. Int J Obes 27, 856861.

57.S Paeratakul , MA White , DA Williamson (2002) Sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and BMI in relation to self-perception of overweight. Obes Res 10, 345350.

59.H Fonseca , MG de Matos , A Guerra (2009) Emotional, behavioural and social correlates of missing values for BMI. Arch Dis Child 94, 104109.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *