Netherlands among EU countries with fewest obese residents

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

The Netherlands is one of the EU countries with the fewest residents that have weight problems, with 13.3 percent of its residents being obese. Only Romania and Italy have fewer obese residents - 9.4 percent and 10.7 percent respectively, according to figures from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.

Eurostat worked with figures from 2014. Ireland is not included in the study as the country’s figures were not available.

The island of Malta has the biggest obesity problem with 26 percent of its residents suffering from it. Latvia comes in second place with 21.3 percent and Hungary in third with 21.2 percent.

More than half of the European Union’s resident (51.6 percent) are overweight - 35.7 percent of them are considered pre-obese and 15.9 percent are obese. That amounts to one in every six persons over the age of 18 in the EU being obese.

Eurostat could see no clear difference in obesity between men and women, but found that age and level of education both play clear roles.

In almost all EU member states could be seen that the older the age group, the more persons are obese. This is with the exception of the oldest age group of 75 years and older. At EU level 5.7 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 years are obese, compared to 22.1 percent of older persons between the ages of 65 and 74 years. In the Netherlands 5.4 percent of young adults are obese and 17.7 percent of older persons.

The level of education also plays a distinctive roll. In nearly all Member States, the share of obesity decreases with the education level. At EU level 11.5 percent of persons with a high level of education are obese, compared to 19.9 percent of persons with a low education. In the Netherlands 8.6 percent of people with a high education are obese and 17.1 percent of people with a low education.

Eurostat calls obesity a serious public health problem, which can be measured using the Body Mass Index for adults. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 or over.