Lower education levels linked to obesity

Obese Man (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/ParentingPatch)Obese Man (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/ParentingPatch)

The lower a person's education level, the more likely it is that he has weight problems, according to figures from the Lifestyle Monitor 2015. A massive 65 percent of adults with only a primary school education are overweight and 25 percent are obese, compared to 35 percent overweight and 6 percent obese among those with a high level of education.

The Lifestyle Monitor is a joint investigation performed by Statistics Netherlands, RIVM, Nutrition Center and Pharos Expertise Center on Health Disparities, among others, among people aged 25 or older.

"Whether a low level of education increases the chance of overweight or obesity, or vice versa, or whether both are the result of other factors, can not be determined on the basis of this investigation. Possibly even all three are true", Statistics Netherlands writes.

The study also found a link between obesity and age - as people age, the risk of obesity increases, no matter the level of education. Less than 5 percent of 4 to 20 year olds are obese. Among people over the age of 40, 17 percent are obese. The same trend can be seen with overweight people - 12 percent among 4 to 20 year olds and 60 percent among people over the age of 50.

The number of obese adults in the Netherlands more than doubled since 1981. Obesity is also more prevalent among children and teenagers in the past years.