Understanding health behaviour and body image among adolescent students – a cross national comparison -and other activities 

Bent Egberg Mikkelsen (Lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


Health status perception and behaviour are important factors that have a strong influence on the wellbeing of both citizens and societies. Higher education has a considerable influence on how health behavior and body image among adolescents are dealt with. Universities play an important role in shaping the knowledge, skills and competencies of the future generation and hence in shaping future society. Young people in these facilities are both creators of future society as they are the subject of present policies and there is a growing concern on the fact that school and the facilities of higher education should bare targets of public policy. Students in higher educational facilities can be expected to be the decision makers of the future and as such their beliefs and attitudes as well as behaviour in relation to health are important factors that influence not only individuals but can be expected to have an impact for the future of our societies. Understanding the relationship between health, health behavior and self perceived body image among adolescent students is therefore of considerable interest.

The study aimed: i) exploring health behaviour and body image perception and attachment style among university students at higher educations; ii) investigating how self-perception of body image, health behaviour, and health status and attachment style, among university students is interrelated; iii) discussing policy implications of the findings including the need for training package for university teachers and tools for use in higher education and policy recommendations to decision makers and educational planners.

The paper presents the study methodology from the work that were conducted in working group 4 of the Appearance matters COST action and the preliminary findings from the survey that was conducted in Germany, Portugal, Croatia and Czech Republic.

The activities and findings from the work that the group has been carrying out on health, health behaviour and body image in schools for vocational training are also shown here.

Period22 May 2017
Event titleCOST action conference - Appearance Matters, Ljubljana 2017
Event typeConference
LocationLjubljana, Slovenia


  • Health Promoting Universities
  • HPU
  • COST
  • Appearance Matters
  • vocational school
  • Health Promotion
  • Body Image