• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
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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
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
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Out of pocket
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?Partial
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?Partial
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?Partial
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?Partial

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

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