Last week we had a 3-day meeting at Agder University in Kristiansand, Norway, to analyse and prepare scientific reports of the results of the EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth” (ENERGY)-project. ENERGY is the development and formative evaluation of a theory-informed and evidence-based multi-component school-based and family-involved intervention program ready to be implemented and evaluated for effectiveness across Europe. This project consisting of a conceptual framework, systematic reviews and secondary data analyses, validation studies, as well as a cross sectional study and an intervention study across different countries in Europe, finalizes this summer. The reporting on the firts pases of the project is well underway, and we are now in the process of analysing the evaluation of the intervention, called UP4FUN.
Our project is aiming to promote health diets and physical activity among school-age children. Most of the researchers in the ENERGY project try to practice what they preach. In recent years there is a big emphasis in healthy diet promotion on regional, health promoting foods and diets. Such regionally appropriate, gourmet, good-for-health-and environment diets get a strong emphasis in the Nordic countries, and has been labelled the Nordic Diet. The best restaurant of the world -NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen-, as well as other Michelin star restaurants in the Nordic countries, such as Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm, are strong advocates of the Nordic kitchen and have taken the Nordic cooking to top levels. Prof. Elling Bere, one of our hosts at Agder University, and me have published one of the first scientific papers proposing a Nordic diet, and comparing the Nordic diet with maybe the most famous regionally defined healthful diet, i.e. the Mediterranean diet.
Kristiansand has its own proud example of a Gourmet Nordic restaurant, i.e. Maltid restaurant. One of the evening dinners we had at the home of Froydis Nordgard Vik, one of the PhD candidates and crucial collaborators on the ENERGY project, and she had arranged for food delivered by and prepared at her home by Maltid so that were provided the opportunity to practice Nordic health-promoting eating in the best possible way.