Dutch have not improved their lifestyle

20/03/2007 12:00

Dutch people did not lead a more healthy lifestyle in 2006. The percentage of Dutch adults who were overweight continued to rise. The percentage of smokers did not decrease and the percentage of heavy drinkers also remained stable. Lastly the number of Dutch people who comply with the norms for healthy exercise remained at the same level as in 2005, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Obesity continues to rise

In 2006, 46 percent of the adult population were overweight. This is more than in 2005 and the same level as in 2004. The increasing trend of overweight people continues. The percentage of people who are seriously obese is also continuing to rise in 2006, for women in particular. Nearly 13 percent of women were seriously obese in 2006. The proportion of seriously overweight men has been 10 percent for a number of years now.

No decrease in percentage of smokers

Smoking did not improve either in 2006. Nearly 30 percent of Dutch people aged twelve years and older smoke. This percentage has been fairly constant for the last three years now. The downward trend among 12-24 year-olds did  not continue. The number of heavy smokers did continue to fall, however.

The average age of smokers has risen from 41 to 43 years since 2001. There are still more smokers among men than among women, and 9 percent of men and 6 percent of women are heavy smokers. Women who give up smoking have smoked for an average 15 years, men for an average 20 years.

Percentage of drinkers also stable

Figures on drinking in the Netherlands have not changed in recent years. Just over 11 percent of Dutch people were heavy drinkers in 2006; four times as many men as women drink heavily. Some 20 percent of the population drink no alcohol at all.

Nearly half of the population don’t get enough exercise

According to the Dutch norm for healthy exercise, 45 percent of the population did not get enough exercise in 2006. This is the same level as in 2005. People who do exercise enough do so mostly through physical activity during sports and recreation: nearly 70 percent.