Four out of ten Swedish teenagers eat special diets

40 percent of Swedish teenagers say they are on special diets. The corresponding numbers in Denmark are 23 percent and 30 percent in Finland.

A new Nordic study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Arla, shows that Scandinavian teenagers – and especially the Swedes – challenge ordinary food habits and choose special diets instead. For example, eating vegetarian, vegan or gluten- and lactose-free food.

It is especially the girls who are on special diets. In Sweden 46 percent of the girls in the study say they follow a certain diet. But even though many teenagers state that they eat a special diet, they do not always live up to it. For example, one-third of those who described themselves as vegetarians also said they had eaten chicken last week. This leads to the conclusion, that the diet in many cases is a choice of lifestyle rather than strict guidelines for what to eat.

Elin Boll, Ph.D. and nutritionist at Arla Sweden, says that many of the Swedish teenagers are influenced by their parents who also choose new food habits, but many teenagers also get their inspiration through friends and influencers.

– Many young people seek information about diet and health, which is positive as long as the information channels are correct. If you exclude parts of the diet, you must be careful, that you are not going to lack certain nutrients, Elin Boll says.

The survey took place in July / July 2020. 1500 teenagers, representatively selected in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, participated in the online survey. Read more HERE