Dutch population taller and heavier

04/12/2012 15:00

The average weight of men and women in the Netherlands has increased more rapidly over the past two decades than their average length. As a result, the number of overweight people has grown significantly. Last year, 54 percent of adult men and 43 percent of adult women were overweight.

Men on average 2.1 cm taller, women 0.6 cm

The average size of Dutch men and women in 2011 was 1.81 m and 1.68 m respectively. Compared to 1991, men are on average 2.1 cm taller, women 0.6 cm. The difference between average male body size and average female body size has increased from 11.9 to 13.4 cm.

Reported length, adults (20 years or older)

Reported length, adults (20 years or older)

Average weight and average length

The body weight of the average Dutch adult has increased more rapidly than their body length. Over the past two decades, the average man gained 5.6 kg and the average woman 3.7 kg. The average weight in the adult male population was 84kg in 2011 versus 70 kg in the adult female population.

Reported weight, adults (20 years or older)

Reported weight, adults (20 years or older)

Growing amount of people overweight

Changes in body length and weight over the past twenty years were concomitant with a considerable increase in people struggling with overweight problems. Last year, 54 percent of adult men and 43 percent of adult women were overweight versus 39 and 31 percent respectively twenty years ago. The proportion of obese people has also increased relatively fast. An individual with a body length of 1.81 m is defined as obese, if they weigh 98.3 kg or more. An individual with a body length of 1.68 m is defined as obese, if they weigh 84.7 kg or more.

Percentage of overweight adults (20 years or older)

Percentage of overweight adults (20 years or older)
Elma Wobma and Jan-Willem Bruggink

Source: Food for thought