More than 100.000 people in the Netherlands are morbidly obese

More than 100.000 people in the Netherlands are morbidly obese

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According to new figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), more than 100.000 people in the Netherlands above the age of 20 were morbidly obese in 2017. This equates to 0,9 percent of the population over 20 years old.

Morbid obesity on the rise

A person is classed as obese when their BMI (body mass index) exceeds 30. Obesity is then further sorted into three categories: category one entails a BMI of 30-35, category two is for those with a BMI of 35-40 and category three or morbid obesity is reached when a person’s BMI is above 40.

In 2017, in total, 14 percent of the population above 20 suffered from some form of obesity. This is 2,5 times the number of those severely overweight at the beginning of the 1980s. Compared to 2016, last year the percentage of the population falling under the first two categories of obesity decreased.

However, the percentage of those suffering from morbid obesity increased to the highest it has ever been before. This group is, of course, the smallest. Category one of obesity has increased the most since the 1980s, namely from 4 to 11 percent. The other two categories of obesity have also seen an increase, as at the start of the 1980s it was rare to find someone who fell under these categories.

According to the research, women are more likely to suffer from obesity than men, in all categories. And, of all the age groups, those aged 65-75 exhibited the highest obesity figures, with 20 percent suffering from some form of obesity.

Not the fattest in Europe

In addition to the 14 percent of people above 20 who belong to one of the categories of obesity, a further 36 percent of the population is moderately overweight. All in all, 50 percent of the population over 20 thus has a problem with excess weight. In the early 1980s, this figure was only 33 percent.

Despite what may seem like rather large figures concerning the percentage of obesity in the Netherlands, compared to other EU countries, the Netherlands isn’t doing that bad. In fact, the 2014 EU obesity figures of those over 18 years old put the Netherlands, with 13 percent obesity, far below the EU average of 17 percent. Only Italy and Romania have lower obesity rates.

According to the EU figures, Malta has the highest obesity rates, with 26 percent of the population above 18 severely overweight. Latvia and Hungary follow Malta as the most obese EU member states. 

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