About 11 percent of the Dutch population aged 2 through 19 was overweight in 2003. 3 percent of these young people is seriously overweight. Overweight young people often become overweight adults.
Overweight young people and adults
Stable share of overweight young people
The share of overweight young people increased from 9 percent in the early eighties to 11 percent in the early nineties. The share of serious overweight increased from to 3 percent during this period. These figures have hardly changed since the nineties.
The percentage of overweight adults on the other hand increased from 33 percent in the early eighties to over 45 percent in 2003. The share of seriously overweight adults doubled in this period, reaching 10 percent.
Overweight population aged 2-19 by origin, 1997/2003
Young Turks and Moroccans often overweight
Almost one in four young Turks and Moroccans is overweight, versus one in ten of the young native Dutch. The group with a Surinamese or Antillean/Aruban background is also more often overweight.
Serious overweight also occurs more often among young non-western than among the young native Dutch population.
Overweight children aged 2-11 by their parents’ weight, 1997/2003
Overweight parents, overweight children
Parents play a key role in the development of their children’s weight. They determine largely what their children eat and to what extent they are physically active.
Overweight parents often have overweight children. When both parents are seriously overweight, almost 35 percent of their children is fat. If neither of the parents are overweight, 9 percent of the children is overweight. Serious overweight in children occurs seven times more often when they have overweight parents than when their parents are not overweight.