Obesity often runs in families: Stats office

Childhood Obesity (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Robert Lawton). (Childhood Obesity (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Robert Lawton))

Kids with overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves than children whose parents have normal weights, according to the Health/Lifestyle Monitor by Statistics Netherlands and public health organization RIVM. 

Last year 12 percent of kids of primary school age - between the ages of 4 and 12 years - were overweight. Four percent were obese.

The Monitor found a clear correlation between parents' weight and children's weight. 24.1 percent of kids who have one overweight parent and one obese parent are overweight. 17.4 percent of kids with two overweight parents are also overweight. 9.2 percent of kids with one overweight parent and one parent with a healthy weight are over weight. And only 5.9 percent of kids with both parents with healthy weights are overweight.

The results also showed that children who grow up in low-income families clearly struggle more with overweight issues than kids that grow up in the high income group, though the agencies did not explore the relationship further. In the lowest income group nearly 20 percent of kids are overweight or obese, compared to 5.5 percent in the highest income group.

Kids with a non-western background are more often overweight and obese than their Dutch peers - 22 percent non-western kids in the Netherlands are overweight, compared to 9 percent of their Dutch peers. Obesity is 9 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Children living in the four large cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague in Utrecht - are more often overweight than in the rest of the Netherlands, 18 percent compared to 11 percent in the rest of the country. According to Statistic Netherlands, this is partly because lower-income and non-western households are relatively more common in the big cities than in the rest of the country.