Physical activity, diet and obesity in children - several international observational projects

Childhood obesity is a public health problem globally as well as in Sweden. Further research is required in order to better understand the role of dietary behaviours and physical activity in children in this development. Our research group are involved in several national and international projects studying diet and physical activity in children.


The International Study of Movement Behaviours in the Early Years (the SUNRISE study) is a large international collaboration project led by the University of Wollongong, Australia, and now includes 43 low, middle, and high income countries. The overall aim of this study is to monitor to the new WHO Guidelines for physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. The Swedish pilot study was completed in 2019 (n = 100) and data for the main study was initiated in February 2020, where we are aiming to recruit 1000 Swedish pre-schoolers aged 3-5 years. Contact persons: Christine Delisle Nyström (assistant professor) and Ellinor Nilsson (PhD student).

Funding: Region Östergötland, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Wellfare

Selected publications - SUNRISE Sweden

International Study of Movement Behaviors in the Early Years (SUNRISE): Results from SUNRISE Sweden's Pilot and COVID-19 Study.
Delisle Nyström C, Alexandrou C, Henström M, Nilsson E, Okely AD, Wehbe El Masri S, Löf M
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11;17(22):8491

Cross-sectional examination of 24-hour movement behaviours among 3- and 4-year-old children in urban and rural settings in low-income, middle-income and high-income countries: the SUNRISE study protocol.
Okely T, Reilly JJ, Tremblay MS, Kariippanon KE, Draper CE, El Hamdouchi A, et al.
BMJ Open 2021 10;11(10):e049267

Levels and Correlates of Objectively Measured Sedentary Behaviour in Young Children: SUNRISE Study Results from 19 Countries.
Kariippanon KE, Chong KH, Janssen X, Tomaz SA, Ribeiro EH, Munambah N, et al.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 2022 Feb 8


This longitudinal cohort study includes 632 children originally measured in pregnancy and infancy as week as in pre-school age from the general population in Region Östergötland. When the children were nine years of age  measures of body composition, physical activity, physical fitness, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and diet were collected. The aim of this prospective cohort is to investigate determinants and correlates of childhood overweight and obesity. Future follow-ups these children are currently being planned. Contact person: Prof Marie Löf.

Generation Pep Study

The Generation Pep study is an annual population-based survey initiated in 2018 investigating Swedish children’s and adolescents’ dietary, physical activity, and sedentary behaviours. This survey is sent out to a random sample of 29 000 children and adolescents between 4 and 17 years of age in August/September of each year. In 2021, a pilot study was conducted including objective measures of physical activity and the goal is that future surveys will include objective measures in all or a representative sample of those selected to participate. Contact person: Christine Delisle Nyström.

Selected publications - Generation Pep study

Generation Pep Study: A population-based survey on diet and physical activity in 12,000 Swedish children and adolescents.
Rosell M, Carlander A, Cassel S, Henriksson P, J-Son Höök M, Löf M
Acta Paediatr 2021 Sep;110(9):2597-2606