Nearly half of Belgians found to be overweight: report
Monday, 30 September 2019
The report found that less than half of Belgians aged 6 and over eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. Credit: Unsplash
The number of overweight or obese people in Belgium is mounting at the same time as smoking and regular drinking habits decline, a new federal health survey showed.
Published by Sciensano, a public health research institute of the federal health ministry, the report’s figures, gathered throughout 2018, showed that as fewer Belgians picked up smoking or drank regularly, a growing number ate poorly and led a sedentary lifestyle.
The percentage of regular and occasional smokers aged 15 and over has been steadily declining since 2001 to reach 19.4% in the survey, RTL reports. Additionally, the figures also show that over half (57.5%) of Belgians have never smoked.
With a prevalence rate of 76.6%, the survey shows that significant portion of the population aged 15 or over is still drinking, with 20% of the survey’s young participants reporting binge drinking at least once every month, the outlet reports.
But the population’s “growing awareness about the health risks posed by alcohol and tobacco” consumption, which Sabine Drieskens, a researcher at Sciensano said could explain the report’s figures, are yet to make inroads as regards exercise and a healthy diet.