Healthy Choices

and the social gradient

Healthy choices and the social gradient

Why do we observe increasing inequality in health – even in welfare societies where all citizens should have equal access to health services? This proposal is the result of a research environment that has the infrastructure, data sources and the competence to explore the conditions of inequity in health. Our vision is not only to seek to explain inequality, but we also see our social responsibility as a research community to contribute to evidence-based actions that can bring positive consequences for the society.

This proposal addresses key thematic health priorities and the majority of goals and sub-goals of the BEDREHELSE program using novel and innovative approaches. We will develop new and applicable knowledge on the impact of modifiable traditional risk factors on inequalities in health through the life course. Using data from several cohorts we will study these factors through transition phases in life. This allows us to identify specific risk factors and subgroups of the population that can be targeted for actions to reduce social inequalities in health. Furthermore, our cohorts include information on ethnicity enabling us to address sensitive groups in particular.

Read the full proposal Healthy choices and the social gradient in the pdf-document

Organisational model Healthy Choices
Organisational model Healthy Choices


 Work packages


WP 1: Management (Project director: Inger Njølstad)

Steering group: The Board of the Dept. of Community Medicine will act as Steering Group for this project.

WP 2 Research data management and availability (Lead: ISM/Tom Wilsgaard, NIPH)

Main objective: To provide easy access to research data, including online analysis of data.

WP 3 From conception to next generation and into old age – social and behavioral pathways Lead: ISM/Sameline Grimsgaard, Torkjel Sandanger

Main objective: To provide novel insights on the complex interrelationship between the social and behavioral pathways that shape health over the life course, identify key modifiable risk factors at transition phases and across social gradients, and identify vulnerable groups for selected interventions.

WP 4 Biostatistical methods and models (ICL/INSERM, UiT)

Objectives: The overarching goal of this WP is to explore available data to characterize the social exposome (the measure of all the exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health), relying on the definition of a clear, general and translatable methodological framework to

WP 5 Healthy choices and novel science communication 
(Torkjel M Sandanger ISM, UiS, NIPH, key experts)

The main objective is to develop and implement new ways of communicating evidence from public health research to people and decision makers, which enable them to make more informed decisions about healthy choices and health care, reducing inequalities in health.


WP 6 Education and transition phases, student knowledge and training
(Lead Kristin B. Borch, Student Parliament, The Arctic Student Welfare Organization, the municipality of Tromsø)

The main objective is to build a research program together with students, for students and of students in order to increase knowledge of the transition from youth to adult during the important years in which young people start their studying carrier at universities, and integrate education and research in student active learning.

Work package leaders