• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
  • Actions
Loading data – please wait …

Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:1152
Area covered:National
References:Belgium Health Examination Survey 2018. J. Van der Heyden, D. Nguyen, F. Renard, A. Scohy, S. Demarest, S. Drieskens, L. Gisle. Enquête de santé par examen belge. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/90. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:These results from smaller measured survey l (n=1152 measured) a larger self report survey also available n=9295
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2002-2004

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-75
Sample size:5170
Area covered:National
References:Duvigneaud N, Wijndaele K, Matton L, Deriemaeker P, Philippaerts R, Lefevre J, Thomis M, & Duquet W. Prevalence of overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity in Flemish adults. Archives of Public Health 2006; 64: 123-42.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1994-1997

Survey type:Measured
Age:35-59
Sample size:21356
References:Backer Guy de. De xwaarlijvige Belgen: met hoeveel zijn ze? De Eetrbrief. Feb. 2000 (No. 70):1-3
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1979-1984

Survey type:Measured
Age:25-74
Sample size:11080
Area covered:National
References:Stam-Moraga MC, Kolanowski J, Dramaix M, De Backer G, Kornitzer MD Sociodemographic and nutritional determinants of obesity in Belgium. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Feb;23 Suppl 1:1-9
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2018

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:2-17
References:S. Drieskens, R. Charafeddine, L. Gisle : Enquête de santé 2018 : Etat nutritionnel. Bruxelles, Belgique :Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/62. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:IOTF cutoffs NB. Combined child data estimated. These estimates were calculated by weighting male and female survey results. Weighting based on World Bank Population % total female 2019 (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS - accessed 21.10.20)'
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:3-6
Sample size:1327
Area covered:Regional
References:Manios, Y. et al. (2018). Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of overweight and obesity in a large Pan-European cohort of preschool children and their families: The ToyBox-study. Nutrition. 55-56, pp.1-7.
Notes:Subnational-Ghent IOTF International Cut-off used.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-12
Sample size:1003
Area covered:Regional
References:Brug J, van Stralen MM, te Velde SJ, Chinapaw MJM, De Bourdeaudhuij I, et al. (2012) Differences in Weight Status and Energy-Balance Related Behaviors among Schoolchildren across Europe: The ENERGY-Project. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34742. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034742
Notes:IOTF International Cut off point
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-9
Sample size:Not specified
References:Wijnhoven TMA, van Raaij JMA, Spinelli A et al WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Inititiative 2008: weight, height and body mass index in 6-9 year old children. Pediatric Obesity 2012
Notes:IOTF Cut off. Reference: Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey. BMJ. 2000 May 6;320(7244):1240-3.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2007-2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-9
Sample size:397,209
Area covered:National
References:Spinelli et al (2019). 'Childhood Severe Obesity in Europe', Obes Facts.12, pp. 244–258. (Data from COSI round 1-3)
Notes:NOTE - this data is from COSI round I-III (2007 - 2013) IOTF cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 1998-1999

Survey type:Measured
Age:7-8
Sample size:9487
Area covered:Regional
References:Massa G. Body mass index measurements and prevalence of overweight and obesity in school-children living in the province of Belgian Limburg. European Journal of Pediatrics 2002;161:343-346
Notes:Please see paper for details on child cut-off points
Cutoffs:Other

Boys, 1969-1974

Survey type:Measured
Age:15
Sample size:21000
References:Hulens M, Beunen G, Claessens AL, Lefevre J, Thomis M, Philippaerts R, Borms J, Vrijens J, Lysens R, Vansant G. Trends in BMI among Belgian children, adolescents and adults from 1969 to 1996. International Journal of Obesity 2001;25:395-399.
Notes:See paper for cut-off point details
Cutoffs:Other

Overweight/obesity by age and education

Men, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:1152
Area covered:National
References:Belgium Health Examination Survey 2018. J. Van der Heyden, D. Nguyen, F. Renard, A. Scohy, S. Demarest, S. Drieskens, L. Gisle. Enquête de santé par examen belge. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/90. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:Larger self report data also available
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Total sample size in EU = 35100 (Age 18+) Less than primary, primary and lower secondary education (levels 0-2) Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education (levels 3 and 4) Tertiary education (levels 5-8)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database:http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1e&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:Total sample size in EU = 35100 (Age 18+) Less than primary, primary and lower secondary education (levels 0-2) Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education (levels 3 and 4) Tertiary education (levels 5-8)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2008

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/health/health-status-determinants/data/database# (last accessed 17th July 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2008

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/health/health-status-determinants/data/database# (last accessed 17th July 2015)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 1979-1984

Survey type:Measured
Age:25-74
Sample size:11081
Area covered:National
References:Stam-Morga MC. Sociodemographic and nutritional determinants of obesity in Belgium. International Journal of Obesity. 1999;23;Suppl 1:S1-S9
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 1979-1984

Survey type:Measured
Age:25-74
Sample size:11081
Area covered:National
References:Stam-Morga MC. Sociodemographic and nutritional determinants of obesity in Belgium. International Journal of Obesity. 1999;23;Suppl 1:S1-S9
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2018

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:2-17
Sample size:1881
Area covered:National
References:S. Drieskens, R. Charafeddine, L. Gisle : Enquête de santé 2018 : Etat nutritionnel. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/62. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:IOTF International Cut Off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:3-6
Sample size:1327
Area covered:Regional
References:Manios, Y. et al. (2018). Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of overweight and obesity in a large Pan-European cohort of preschool children and their families: The ToyBox-study.. Nutrition. 55-56 (p), pp.1-7.
Notes:Ghent. Low Maternal education classed as <14 y of education. Medium/high Maternal education classed as >14 y of education.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-12
Sample size:1003
Area covered:Regional
References:Brug J, van Stralen MM, te Velde SJ, Chinapaw MJM, De Bourdeaudhuij I, et al. (2012) Differences in Weight Status and Energy-Balance Related Behaviors among Schoolchildren across Europe: The ENERGY-Project. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34742. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034742
Notes:Flanders
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2007-2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:2-9
Sample size:2452
Area covered:National
References:Ahrens W, Pigeot I, Pohlabeln H et al. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in European children below the age of 10. IJO 2014;38:S99-S107
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1152
Area covered:National
References:Belgium Health Examination Survey 2018. J. Van der Heyden, D. Nguyen, F. Renard, A. Scohy, S. Demarest, S. Drieskens, L. Gisle. Enquête de santé par examen belge. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/90. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:Larger self report data also available
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_hch10&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Sample size:Total sample number in EU: 35100 (Age 18+)
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT 2014 http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do (accessed 21.03.19)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2002-2004

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:5170
Area covered:Regional
References:N DUVIGNEAUD, Katrien Wijndaele UGent, L MATTON, P DERIEMAEKER, Renaat Philippaerts UGent,Joffrey Lefevre, M THOMIS and W DUQUET. Prevalence of overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity in Flemish adults. ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC HEALTH (2006). 64. p.123-142
Notes:Although originally randomly drawn, consists of voluntary participants, which reduces its representativeness.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2018

Survey type:Self-reported
Sample size:1881
Area covered:National
References:S. Drieskens, R. Charafeddine, L. Gisle : Enquête de santé 2018 : Etat nutritionnel. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/62. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:IOTF International Cut Off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:6yrs - 56245 7yrs - 15208 8yrs - 48470 9yrs - 18395 Boys & Girls
Area covered:National
References:WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. (2018). WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: overweight and obesity among 6–9-year-old children. Available: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/378865/COSI-3.pdf?ua=1. Last accessed [Accessed 28th Aug 2018].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:126078
Area covered:National
References:Wijnhoven TMA, van Raaij JMA, Spinelli A et al WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Inititiative 2008: weight, height and body mass index in 6-9 year old children. Pediatric Obesity 2012
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 1989-1990

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:9487
Area covered:Regional
References:Massa G. Body mass index measurements and prevalence of overweight and obesity in school-children living in the province of Belgian Limburg. European Journal of Pediatrics 2002;161:343-346
Cutoffs:Other

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:1152
Area covered:National
References:Belgium Health Examination Survey 2018. J. Van der Heyden, D. Nguyen, F. Renard, A. Scohy, S. Demarest, S. Drieskens, L. Gisle. Enquête de santé par examen belge. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/90. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:Larger self report data also available
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2018

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:2-17
Sample size:1881
Area covered:National
References:S. Drieskens, R. Charafeddine, L. Gisle : Enquête de santé 2018 : Etat nutritionnel. Bruxelles, Belgique : Sciensano ; Numéro de rapport : D/2019/14.440/62. Disponible en ligne : www.enquetesante.be
Notes:IOTF International Cut Off
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by age and region

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1u&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1u&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by age and socio-economic group

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1i&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1i&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Area covered:National
References:Eurostat Database http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1i&lang=en (last accessed 25.08.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Men, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:Total sample number in EU: 35100 (Age 18+)
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1i&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:1st Quintile (lowest income), 5th Quintile (highest income) Please note where data = zero, there were insufficient data.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Sample size:Total sample number in EU: 35100 (Age 18+)
Area covered:National
References:EUROSTAT Database: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hlth_ehis_bm1i&lang=en (last accessed 9 November 2016)
Notes:1st Quintile (lowest income), 5th Quintile (highest income) Please note where data = zero, there were insufficient data.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2008

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/health/health-status-determinants/data/database# (last accessed 17th July 2015)
Notes:SES assessed using annual income
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2008

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:18+
Area covered:National
References:http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/health/health-status-determinants/data/database# (last accessed 17th July 2015)
Notes:SES assessed using annual income
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2007-2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:2-9
Sample size:2452
Area covered:National
References:Ahrens W, Pigeot I, Pohlabeln H et al. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in European children below the age of 10. IJO 2014;38:S99-S107
Notes:Parental Income
Cutoffs:IOTF

Boys, 1976-1979

Survey type:Measured
Age:12
Sample size:2607
Area covered:Regional
References:De Spiegelaerelth M, Hennart P, Dramaix M. Social class and obesity in 12-year-old children in Brussels: Influence of gender and ethnic origin. Preventive Pediatrics And Epidemiology European Journal of Pediatrics May 1998, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 432-435
Notes:Definitions: Class 1 - Upper Management and Professional Class 2 - White Collar Workers Class 3 - Active self-employed and technicians Class 4 - Active manual Class 5 - Unemployed and those dependent on state assistance Note: Overweight = 120% BMI Median for age & sex Obese = 140% BMI Median for age & sex
Cutoffs:Other

Girls, 1976-1979

Survey type:Measured
Age:12
Sample size:2607
Area covered:Regional
References:De Spiegelaerelth M, Hennart P, Dramaix M. Social class and obesity in 12-year-old children in Brussels: Influence of gender and ethnic origin. Preventive Pediatrics And Epidemiology European Journal of Pediatrics May 1998, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 432-435
Notes:Definitions: Class 1 - Upper Management and Professional Class 2 - White Collar Workers Class 3 - Active self-employed and technicians Class 4 - Active manual Class 5 - Unemployed and those dependent on state assistance Note: Overweight = 120% BMI Median for age & sex Obese = 140% BMI Median for age & sex
Cutoffs:Other

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Sugar consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Sugar consumption (Number of 500g sugar portions/person/month)

Estimated per-capita sugar sweetened beverages intake

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International

Prevalence of confectionery consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Prevalence of confectionery consumption (Number of 50g confectionery portions/person/month)

Prevalence of sweet/savoury snack consumption

Adults, 2016

References:Source: Euromonitor International
Definitions:Prevalence of sweet/savoury snack consumption (Number of 35g sweet/savoury snack portions/person/month)

Estimated per-capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per-capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Health systems

Economic classification: High Income

Health systems summary

Healthcare in Belgium is mostly operated through a social insurance system that is part of a broader social security system. It is compulsory for all workers and their employers to pay into a health insurance fund that finances the publicly funded healthcare that is run by federal government. Those covered by this mandatory health insurance (98.9% of the population) have access to subsidised services that include hospital care, dental care, and more. Overall, social insurance covers close to 75% of all healthcare expenses and out of pocket expenditure constitutes 17.9% of total health expenditure. It is not uncommon for people to have private insurance to supplement their social insurance.

Belgium has among the highest life expectancies in the European Union and has historically spent a large proportion of its gross domestic product on health. However, recent challenges include persistent inequalities in health status by socioeconomic status, less public money dedicated to health and shortages of health professionals. Belgium is coming up with innovative ways to address these issues.

Indicators

Where is the country’s government in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Some progress
Where is the country’s healthcare provider in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?No
Is there specialist training available dedicated to the training of health professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage obesity?Not known
Have any taxes or subsidies been put in place to protect/assist/inform the population around obesity?Yes
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in urban areas?Some progress
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?Some progress
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?Some progress
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?Some progress
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Out of pocket

Perceived barriers to treatment

  • High cost of out of pocket payments
  • Poor adherence to or fear of treatment
  • Stigma

Summary of stakeholder feedback

There is a lack of consensus on whether obesity is recognised as a disease in Belgium. Regardless, it is felt that more needs to be invested in prevention and non-surgical treatment.

According to stakeholders, those living with overweight or obesity tend to enter the health system through their general practitioner or via school health counselling. In primary and secondary care, individuals tend to be referred to dietitians and/or psychologists. In tertiary care, surgery is offered and reimbursed by social insurance if certain criteria are met. Surgery is the only form of treatment that is partly funded by insurance; other treatment such as a medication and lifestyle interventions are generally paid for out of pocket. One stakeholder felt that surgical support was offered too freely.

It is suggested that Belgium has a specific gap in physical activity counselling, but it is noted that there are trial projects looking at how to involve them in the obesity care pathway.

Based on interviews/survey returns from 2 stakeholders

Last updated: June 2020

Download this information as a PDF

Actions

Snack & Chill

The principle of the project is simple: offering healthy, affordable snacks and drinks in a cozy setting . Think of: seasonal fruits and vegetables and water, with or without a taste. The framework? This can be a school shop, a nicely decorated school bar or a simply decorated table ... Schools decide for themselves how much time they spend. Pupils participate! Students are heard and involved in this project. Schools that want to know what their students think about this project can present them with our short online questionnaire . In this way, they immediately see whether the students are open to the project and whether they are willing to help, for example to make the school bar or to sell snacks. A school can also hold different classes responsible for making and / or operating the shop. Schools complete the project as they wish, depending on their own capacity.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Year(s):2018 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Flemish Institute of Health
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Wat is Snack & Chill? [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/snack-chill/wat [Accessed: 8 July 2020al]. ‌

The Federal Health Nutrition plan 2016

Five strategic objectives for implementation of the strategies of the WHO and the European Commission in the areas of nutrition and health in Belgium. These include engaging the public sector (product reformulation), targeting breastfeeding and under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, carrying out food monitoring and surveys, and carrying out scientific research in nutrition.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2016 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Service public federale
Find out more:www.health.belgium.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:SPF Santé Publique - Health.Belgium. The Federal Health Nutrition Plan. Available from: https://www.health.belgium.be/fr/alimentation/politique-alimentaire/alimentation-et-sante/politique-nutritionnelle [Accessed 31 july 2019].

General Health Tax

A 'general health tax' applied to applied to all soft drinks, including non-alcoholic drinks and water containing added sugar or other sweeteners or flavours. The amount of tax has increase since its implementation in 2015. A tax is also applied to ingredients intended in the manufacture of soft drinks. In December 2015, the Belgian government increased the excise duty on soft drinks by 0.03 Euro per litre as part of a general “health tax” (Law on measures to strengthen job creation and purchasing power–26 December 2015). The now 0.068 Euro (around $0.07) per litre excise duty came into effect on 1 January 2016 and is applied to all soft drinks, including non-alcoholic drinks and water containing added sugar or other sweeteners or flavours. An excise duty is also applied to any substance intended for the use of manufacturing soft drinks (liquid: 0.41 Euro per litre, around $0.45; powder: 0.68 Euro per kg, around $0.70).

Categories:Taxation/Subsidies on Food or Beverages or law relating to public health
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Belgium Government
Find out more:www.wcrf.org
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Currently a web link to this intervention is unavailable. If you are aware of the location of this document/intervention, please contact us at obesity@worldobesity.org

European Union (EU) Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020

EU Action plan. To contribute to halting the rise in overweight and obesity in children and young people (0-18 years) by 2020

Categories:Transnational Obesity Strategies/Policy or Action Plan
Year(s):2014-2020
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Find out more:ec.europa.eu
Linked document:Download linked document
References:EU Action Plan on Childhood Table of contents [Internet]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/nutrition_physical_activity/docs/childhoodobesity_actionplan_2014_2020_en.pdf &zwnj;

Sport Na School

Teachers are awarded 30 mins exempt from lessons to work within the local community to raise physical activity levels in 12-18 year olds. For a fixed (low) amount, the SNS pass allows these young people to practise organized sports immediately after school, free of obligation, throughout the school year. This initiative was being rolled out across Flanders during 2015.

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Year(s):2014 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Sport Na School
Find out more:www.sportnaschool.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Factory | www.antwerpfactory.com, A. (n.d.) Home. [Online]. Sport na School. Available from: https://sportnaschool.be/.

Brisk Walking

Aims to improve moderate physical activity and improve fitness of elderly by motivating them to take up Brisk Walking in a group context.

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2012 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:LOGO, regional health organisation,Centre of Expertise for Fall Prevention in Flanders (EFF) and the Flemish Institute for Health promotion and Disease prevention (VIGeZ)
Find out more:www.gezondegemeente.be
References:Anon (n.d.) Projecten. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten?themas=beweging-sedentair-gedrag [Accessed: 8 July 2020ag]. ‌

Law on Advertising

This is a self-regulatory code to restrict the marketing of food and beverages to children.

Categories:Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2010 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Belgian Advertising Ethics Jury (JEP)
Find out more:www.euro.who.int
Linked document:Download linked document
References:WHO Europe. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cancer/publications/2013/marketing-of-foods-high-in-fat,-salt-and-sugar-to-children-update-20122013 (last accessed 8 Sept 2015)

10,000 steps

Aims to promote PA in adults by stimulating them to take 10,000 steps a day (8,000 steps in older people).

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Year(s):2009 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:The University of Ghent (pilot study) and VIGeZ (Flemish Institute of Health promotion and Disease prevention)
Find out more:www.10000stappen.be
References:Anon (n.d.) 10.000 stappen. [Online]. 10000stappen.gezondleven.be. Available from: https://10000stappen.gezondleven.be/ [Accessed: 8 July 2020a]. ‌

Flemish Draft Action Plan on Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008-2015

A plan to encourage the entire population of Flanders to be more physically active and to have a more balanced diet.

Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Multidisciplinary Intervention
Year(s):2008-2015
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Family
Find out more:be.brussels
Linked document:Download linked document

White Paper on Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Advertising to Children

Analysis of food and non-alcoholic beverages on children's dietary habits development and future policy options.

Categories:Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2007 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Federal Public Service - National Food and Action Plan
Find out more:www.health.belgium.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:MARAGKOUDAKIS, P. (2017) Food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing to children and adolescents. [Online]. 20 June 2017. EU Science Hub - European Commission. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/health-knowledge-gateway/promotion-prevention/other-policies/marketing.

Practical guidelines for healthy eating

Guidelines to improve dietary habits and increase physical activity of the general population.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2005 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health
Find out more:www.fao.org
Linked document:Download linked document

NUBEL foundation

The non-profit organization Nubel (Nutriments Belgique) was created on March 9, 1990; Revised statutes published in the Belgian Official Gazette on July 13, 2009. The non-profit association manages scientific nutritional information relating to the foodstuffs which constitute "normal" food in Belgium. The further development of the Nubel database was made possible by the Federal Impulse program on "Health Risks" carried out on the initiative of the Belgian State - Prime Minister's Services, Programming of scientific policy.

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):1990 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Nubel foundation
Find out more:www.health.belgium.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (2016b) NUBEL. [Online]. 27 January 2016. SPF Santé Publique. Available from: https://www.health.belgium.be/fr/alimentation/politique-alimentaire/alimentation-et-sante/nubel.

An Eye for goodie

An eye for Lekkers is the brand new Flemish project on vegetables, fruit and / or milk at school. Together with the slurp and slice mascots, students discover different types of fruit and vegetables and taste milk. Eye for Lekkers will replace the well-known Tutti Frutti from the 2017-2018 school year.

Categories:Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Flemish Institute of Health
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Oog voor lekkers. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/oog-voor-lekkers [Accessed: 8 July 2020r]. ‌

CHIREC obesity clinic of DELTA Hospital Multidisciplinary approach for obesity managment

CHIREC Obesity Clinic of DELTA Hospital brings together specialists, particularly in nutrition, digestive and bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, but also in psychology, for comprehensive management of obesity

Categories:Evidence of Multidisciplinary Intervention
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:CHIREC Obesity Clinic - Hôpital DELTA
Find out more:chirec.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Available from: http://chirec.be/fr/centres/810000-centres-de-l-obesite/ (Accessed August 2019)

Colourful Healthy

Health promotion programme

Categories:Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Flemish Institute of Health
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Kleurrijk Gezond. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/kleurrijk-gezond [Accessed: 8 July 2020p]. ‌

Dip? Dice. Do IT!

Dip? Dice. Do it! is a fun game form that encourages students to move more in the classroom by means of movement snacks. Each game box contains a manual, a die, 80 cards with movement snacks and 60 cards with health facts. Students also answer a question about healthy food via a card from the game. Why? Children sit too much in front of TV, behind the computer or tablet, but also in the classroom. For health and better concentration, it is important to interrupt sitting and to move once in a while. Practical Download game? Schools can Dip? Dice. Do it! download or print, just like all playing cards, and the drawings depicting the movement gussets via www . healthylife.be/projects/dip-dobbel-doe . You can find the materials at the bottom of the page. Attend training? Teachers who would like to follow the training on movement snacks and Dip? Dice. Do it! can request this from MOEV . The training costs 50 euros (half a day).

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Logodender
Find out more:logodender.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Dip? Dobbel. Doe! [Online]. Logo Dender. Available from: https://logodender.be/content/dip-dobbel-doe-5.

Gourmet Food

Lekkerbekjes' turns tasting and exercise into a game.

Categories:Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Flemish Institute of Health
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Lekkerbekjes. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/lekkerbekjes [Accessed: 8 July 2020q]. ‌

Healthy in the Workplace

What is Healthy in the workplace? A healthy lifestyle is all too often considered as an individual choice, but the environment exerts at least as much influence on people's choices. After all, health and work are closely linked and influence each other. Work has an impact on the health of the working population and the health of the population has an impact on work ability and on the employment rate. A Healthy in the workplace coach helps to ensure that health is given a permanent place in the company and that everyone is supported in the workplace.

Categories:Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Flemish Institute for Healthy Living
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Gezond op de werkvloer. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/gezond-op-de-werkvloer [Accessed: 8 July 2020q]. ‌

Move On

Move on is an exercise referal intervention

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Flemish Institute for Health Living
Find out more:logodender.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Bewegen Op Verwijzing. [Online]. Logo Dender. Available from: https://logodender.be/content/bewegen-op-verwijzing-0 [Accessed: 8 July 2020k]. ‌

Woogie Boogie

Intervention aimed at reducing still time in toddlers

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Flemish Institute for Health Living
Find out more:www.gezondleven.be
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (n.d.) Woogie Boogie. [Online]. Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven. Available from: https://www.gezondleven.be/projecten/woogie-boogie [Accessed: 8 July 2020as]. ‌

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Loading