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One-quarter of lowest educated in the Netherlands are obese

Staff writer |
Among people aged 25 and older with only primary school education, one-quarter are obese (seriously overweight), versus only 6 percent of university graduates.

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These data are based on the Lifestyle Monitor 2015, a joint publication by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands Nutrition Centre and the Dutch Centre of Expertise on Health Disparities Pharos.

In this study, respondents self-report their body weight

and height Lower educated often overweight

Lower educated people are often overweight. Among those with only primary school education 65 percent are moderately or seriously overweight versus 35 percent of university graduates.

Obesity is found four times as often in people with only primary school education as in university graduated.

On the basis of this study it is uncertain whether a low education level increases the risk of overweight or obesity or vice versa or that both are caused by other factors. Possibly, all three conclusion are true.

As people grow older, the risk of overweight increases. Twelve percent of 4 to 19-year-olds have excess weight and the share rises from the age of 20 onwards; 6 in 10 people aged 50 or older are overweight.

Obesity also increases with age; the share of people classified as obese ranges from 5 percent among 4 to 20-year-olds to 17 percent among over-40s.

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