The link of diet and exercise habits of the inhabitants of Pärnu city with body mass index


  • Kandela Õun Pärnu College, University of Tartu, Pärnu, Estonia
  • Monika Übner Pärnu College, University of Tartu, Pärnu, Estonia



body mass, diet, exercise habits


This article gives an overview of the health behaviour survey of the adult population of the city of Pärnu, which was conducted in 2016. The results of the survey were used for compiling of the city health profile. The funder was the Pärnu city government. The authors focused on the links between the body mass index, diet and physical activity. The survey was carried out among the residents of the city of Pärnu aged 16–64 years. The questionnaire was filled by 506 respondents. Such a large survey had not been carried out in the city of Pärnu previously. In 2011 and 2014 two studies involving whole Estonia were conducted, in which the percentage of the respondents from Pärnu was too small to make further conclusions.

The study results revealed that 65% of respondents ranked their health good or very good, and that was an improvement compared to the previous survey made five years ago. Breakfast was important for respondents, and 86% of them had it every morning or on most days. 49% of respondents were of normal weight by body mass index and 47% were overweight or obese, and these numbers showed a 20% change for better health compared to the previous study. From April to September, 45% of respondents rode a bicycle to work. In their free time, 60% did it for at least 15 minutes per day. Women walked to the workplace more often than men. Men were more overweight and ate more white bread than women. Underweight respondents ate an average of one slice of white bread per day, while others consumed it twice less on average. There was a significant but small correlation between age and BMI (r=0.31), respondents with vocational education had the highest average BMI. Obese persons and respondents with poor physical fitness were less active than normal-weight persons.


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