Young Dutch adults are getting heavier, 25% are now overweight


A diet of junk food and calorific drinks is driving up the weight of young Dutch adults, and one in four now officially classified as too heavy by the national statistics office CBS.

While there is little difference between men and women, youngsters with a non-western background are more likely to be seriously overweight than the native Dutch, the CBS said on Wednesday.

In total, 21% of 18 to 25-year-olds are too heavy and 3.3% are classified as obese.

The research also shows that three in 10 young adults are unhappy about their weight, with young women more likely to be concerned than men. 

In 1981, one third of the Dutch were considered to be too heavy but that has now gone up to 49%. And the number of people categorised as obese has risen from 5% in 1981 to 14% today.

The Dutch government has expanded the basic health insurance policy to cover expert advice to help people develop a healthy lifestyle.

Practitioners who specialise in ‘combined lifestyle interventions’ or GLI – as the health ministry puts it – can now bill health insurers. GLI involves combating obesity by encouraging patients to eat less and take more exercise along with psychological help.

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