Analysis of students’ dietary habits

The project consists of data collection of students’ dietary habits. The data collection is being realized with the use of a dedicated app and smart phones. Students collect and analyze their dietary habits and that of their class/peers in order to support the research around indicators linked with childhood obesity; a soaring issue in Greece and globally. Students are introduced in Big Data techniques and analysis. Students collaborate with experts in the field (doctors, researchers in healthy nutrition, researchers in Big Data) and get a full insight in the specific research area.

The project aims to gather information on how healthy the behaviors and living environments of students are . With the collected information by many students we will try to detect which aspects of behavior and living environment are important to target in public health policies, so that healthy behavior can be encouraged, rather than discouraged, by the students’ living environment. The students that participate in the project (age 9 – 18) become citizen scientists by collecting data regarding their behavior and living environment with a smartphone application. Students answer questions, take pictures of food advertisements they encounter, and of the food they consume. This only take a few minutes per day.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate a series of real-life students’ dietary habits and physical activity. The data collected remain anonymous. Consent forms are signed by their legal guardians. Students who return signed consent forms and agree to participate receive registration tokens and instructions for downloading the mobile app. Students who do not agree to participate in the data collection, are only involved in the data analysis phase.