Welcome to "Addressing social inequality in health – gender, body image, values & careers among young people in disadvantaged educational settings"


Social inequalities in health are one of society's grand challenges. This is a consequence of different factors such as education and gender resulting in lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, higher consumption of fat and meat, less physical activity and higher rates of smoking. On average, a person with a low SES and a short or medium length education has a shorter life expectancy and a higher risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to other groups. Besides this, women generally eat more in accordance with the official dietary guidelines compared to men. Hence, we will focus on the need for interventions targeting less advantaged population groups and in particular men with shorter educations. In other words, can we break the negative social heritage? Here we will specific consider the following question: Can we leave the traditional risk factor oriented approach to health promotion and instead embark on approaches that takes the values, norms and ambitions of young people into account? And how can we develop programs, actions and interventions that to a higher degree take the everyday life oriented perspective? And which co-creational and participatory methods are available in that case?

This course will get you some new perspectives to apply in your own research about health, body image, and behavior among young people. Focus will on the advantage of both formative and summative methods in evaluation of interventions in social systems. Likewise, we will consider the soft power and dominant modes of health behavior play in the setting of norms among young people. 

Vocational schools, where the majority of the enrolled students are disadvantaged males, deserve more interest from policymakers and the scientific community. Intervention studies are a plausible way to address social inequality in health. A major focus in the course will be on the policy perspective of interventions, among other nudging, in affecting the unhealthy lifestyle and general life choices as a way to address social inequality. We will consider issues related to the design, causal effect, and methodological challenges. When addressing intervention studies, often applied to the field of health studies, we will highlight the potential of this method to other fields of studies.

The aim of the course is, through the perspective of different fields of studies, to develop a better understanding of vocational and disadvantaged setting for adolescents as arenas for better well being health and quality of life. The course will give new perspectives on the linkages and interrelationships between social inequality, body image, health, and careers among young people in disadvantaged educational settings. It will provide insight into development of methodologies and protocols for research in open social systems in the context of education.

Aim of the course
The course uses a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach and is a blend between lectures and students assignment. The course will include a pre course assignment in order to facilitate group formation.

Learning approach
The course uses a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach and is a blend between lectures and students assignment.


Day 1

"Intro to the course" Course assignments. Bent Egberg Mikkelsen & Annette Q Romani.

"Appearance matters – also in vocational schools". Thomas Nielsen, Vice Chair of the COST 1210 Action,

"Health among adolescent boys at vocational school – values or riskfactors?" Bent Egberg Mikkelsen. AAU


"Are high school students healthier than vocational school students? Social mobility, young people, health & statistics". Martin Munk Professor, Aalborg University, tbc

Group formation. Matching ideas with people

Work session 1 on course assignment

"Effects on objective health outcomes - baseline and follow up results of project ”Kroppen op i gear” at vocational schools". Annette Q Romani, Aalborg University

Day 2

"Body Image and appearance among young people". Martin Persson, University of Western England, Centre for Appearance Research

"Breakfast clubs – a strategy for healthier eating in vocational schools?" Camilla Berg Christensen,  Aalborg University

"Addressing inequality in healthy eating among young people at vocational schools - assessing stakeholder engagement in a Whole Health & Whole School Intervention" Bent Egberg Mikkelsen


"Involving young people in intervention development – visual and participatory ethnography and the case UCH vocational school". Tenna D Olsen & Lise Justesen. tbc

Work session 2 on course assignment

Day 3

"Can choice design assist in health promotion and healthy eating – result from an availability & repeated exposure intervention in 13 vocational school canteens". Ulla Bahne, Heart Association, tbc

"Policy implications and multi stakeholder governance among students in socially disadvantaged settings". Claus Egeriis, Danish Meal Partnership, tbc  

Presentation of course assignments 1


Presentation of course assignments 2

Feedback and closure

Course assignment

Preparation of a protocol for vocational school experiment/data collection

Organizers: Professor Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, e-mail: bemi@dcm.aau.dk, Post doc Annette Q Romani, e-mail: aqr@socsci.aau.dk 


Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg UniversityMartin Munk, Professor, Department of Political Science, Aalborg University, tbc
Annette Q Romani, Adjunkt, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University Camilla Berg Christensen, Adjunkt, Department of Development and Planning Aalborg University,
Tenna D Olsen, Adjunkt, Department for Architecture, Design and Media Aalborg University

Thomas Nielsen, Vice Chair of the COST 1210 Action,
Martin Persson, University of Western England, Centre for Appearance Research
Ulla Bahne, Heart Association
Claus Egeriis, Danish Meal Partnership

ECTS: 5.0

Time: November 21-23, 2016

Place: Aalborg University, Copenhagen Campus, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15

Zip code:

Number of seats: 20

Deadline: 10 October 2016

Important information concerning PhD courses:

We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.