ISCOLE – International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment

In ISCOLE, lifestyle characteristics, built environment and overweight are studied in a large multi-national sample of 10 year-old children. Data are collected in 12 countries and in approximately 240 schools around the world. Three European countries, including Finland, participate in ISCOLE. A total of 6000 children take part in the study worldwide. In Finland approximately 500 schoolchildren from the 4th grade participate in the study. The international study is led by Pennington Biomedical Research Center (USA).  ISCOLE’s Finland site is led by Professor Mikael Fogelholm from the Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki.

The research methods include anthropometric measurements, questionnaires, accelerometer in assessment of physical activity and objective assessment of school environment. Apart from the study objectives shared by all countries involved in the study, ISCOLE researchers in Finland will also study the prevalence of allergies among participants.

ISCOLE brings new knowledge of the prerequisites of childhood health. Investigating environmental factors in culturally different countries using the same methods brings especially valuable information. ISCOLE is implemented as a cross-sectional study but the study design enables follow-up studies to be made.

Site principal investigators: Professor Mikael Fogelholm
Members of the study group: Mika Mäkelä, Anna Pelkonen, Maijaliisa Erkkola, Taru Saloheimo, Leena Valta, Jemina Kivelä, Elli Hovi, Sari Räsänen and Sanna Roito