Half of Dutch overweight, nearly a quarter are smokers

The number of Dutch adults who smoke and drink are slowly decreasing, but the number of overweight people in the Netherlands is still stable, according to the Health Survey and Lifestyle Monitor for 2018 by Statistics Netherlands and public health service RIVM. Last year 50 percent of Dutch were overweight, 22.4 percent smoked at least sometimes, and 9 percent were heavy drinkers, NU.nl reports.

The percentage of people who are overweight has not changed compared to 2014. The percentage of smokers and excessive drinkers decreased slightly. The prevention goals the government set on these fronts are still far from being achieved, the RIVM and Statistics Netherlands concluded.

Last year 9 percent of Dutch adults were heavy drinkers, around the same percentage as in 2014. Heavy drinkers are women who drink four glasses of alcohol and men who drink six glasses of alcohol in one day at least once a week.

8.2 percent of the Dutch adult population were excessive drinkers in 2018, compared to 9.9 percent in 2014. These are women who drink more than 14 glasses of alcohol per week, and men who drink more than 21 glasses per week. 

The percentages of smokers, excessive and heavy drinkers, and overweight and obese people are still far above the targets the government and over 70 organization set in the National Prevention Agreement. The goal is to reduce the percentage of smokers and heavy- or excessive drinkers to 5 percent in 2040, and the percentage of overweight people to 38 percent.