Half the residents of The Hague will be either overweight or lonely by 2020, according to new research by the city’s health board.
There will also be an increase in the number of people at risk of depression, diabetes or heart trouble, the researchers say. A similar trend will be apparent in the other three big cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
One reason for the increase is the population make-up. The over-65s and people from an ethnic minority background are more likely to be lonely and their number is set to rise in urban areas, experts told the Volkskrant.
The health board is calling on the city council to develop a strong preventative programme.
‘The rise in the number of people who are lonely, overweight, worried and depressed will considerably increase the cost of illness and healthcare in 2020,’ the report says.
The figures have been derived from a 2012 health board survey, combined with population growth prognoses.