Young people in low-income households more often overweight

08/08/2013 15:15

Approximately 15 percent of 2 to 25-year-olds struggle with overweight. Yet, nearly all young people assess their state of health as good. Young members of low-income households are more often overweight and have more GP contacts than their counterparts in the households with the highest incomes.

Overweight more common in low-income group

In 2010/2012, 15 percent of children and young people aged between 2 and 25 were overweight and 3 percent were obese. The proportion of overweight young people tends to rise as the household income is lower; 19 percent of young people in the households in the lowest income group are overweight, versus 11 percent of 2 to 25-year-olds in the highest income group. The obesity rate is three times as high among young people in the lowest income category as among young people in the highest income category.

(Serious) overweight among 2 to 25-year-olds by income category, 2010/2012

(Serious) overweight among 2 to 25-year-olds by income category, 2010/2012

Young people in high-income category more often positive about their own state of health

Among under-25s, 93 percent evaluate their own state of health as good or very good. Young members of low-income households less often evaluate their own state of health as good than young members of high-income households.

Young people (aged between 0 and 25) who assess their own state of health as (very) good by income category, 2010/2012

Young people (aged between 0 and 25) who assess their own state of health as (very) good by income category, 2010/2012

Young people in low-income households have more GP contacts

Two in every three young people contacted their GP at least once last year. With 69 percent, the proportion is marginally higher among young people in the lowest income category than among young people in the highest income category (64 percent). On the other hand, just under 80 percent of young people in the lowest income category consulted a dentist in the past 12 months, as against more than 86 percent in the highest income category. Young members of households in the highest income group also more often visited a physiotherapist.

Visits by under-25s to care providers in the past 12 months broken down by income category, 2010/2012

Visits by under-25s to care providers in the past 12 months broken down by income category, 2010/2012

Kim Knoops