Childhood is a period characterised by major changes and challenges, both physical and mental. The majority of Danish children live a healthy life with good welfare, but there is also a minority who do not thrive. This may be on a social, mental and physical level. An increasing proportion of young people are experiencing loneliness, bullying and not feeling good enough as they are. We are also perceiving a trend towards very few children living up to the Danish Health Authority's recommendations regarding diet and physical activity, and that too many children are already inactive or obese by the time they start in primary school.
There is therefore room for improvement for children who are challenged by mental health problems or do not live a life, which includes an optimal diet and a healthy level of activity. Childhood is a “window of opportunity”, where we can prevent any problems and failure to thrive from following children into adulthood. It is also a period where we have the opportunity to influence children in establishing healthy habits.
There is a need for continuous monitoring and research on predictors of well-being and health behaviour. There is also a need to develop evidence-based initiatives that can improve mental well-being and enhance the overall health of children.
- We will carry out research into the social determinants of health, well-being and health behaviour among children
- We will carry out research into how we can limit social inequalities in health among children
- We will carry out research into how we can promote mental health among children
- We will carry out research into how we can improve mental and physical health for vulnerable children or children with chronic disease
- We will carry out research into the prevention of obesity among children and we will develop initiatives for the prevention of obesity among children and young people
- We will monitor health, well-being and health behaviour among infants, children and young people in Denmark