Dutch pursue healthier lifestyle

18th March 2008, Comments 1 comment

The Dutch have adopted a somewhat healthier lifestyle over the past years. The percentage of smokers has declined, as has the percentage of heavy drinkers.

18 March 2008

VOORBURG – The Dutch have adopted a somewhat healthier lifestyle over the past years. The percentage of smokers has declined, as has the percentage of heavy drinkers.

According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Tuesday, more Dutch are taking regular exercise and there is no longer an increase in the percentage of adults that are moderately overweight. The number of people suffering from obesity however is still on the rise.

31 percent of Dutch men smoked in 2007, compared to 25 percent of women. The CBS has noticed that the declining trend in men's smoking ascertained in the years before 2004 is resuming. The percentage of women who smoke has remained virtually constant over the past three years.

The number of heavy smokers is declining among both men and women. The percentage of young people (aged 12 to 24) who have never smoked rose from 58 to 66 percent between 2001 and 2007.

Almost 11 percent of the Dutch could be considered heavy drinkers in 2007. Six years earlier the percentage was 14 percent. The percentage of men who are heavy drinkers (18%) is almost four times the percentage of women (4 percent). One in five Dutch abstain completely from alcohol.

The percentage of Dutch that take enough exercise (30 minutes per day, according to the norm) was a fraction higher in 2007 compared to 2006. The percentage of men and women who exercise enough has increased steadily from 52 to 56 percent since 2001.

Almost 35 percent of Dutch adults suffered from being moderately overweight in 2007. Until 2002 the percentage of people suffering moderate overweight was on the rise, but the figure has remained almost constant over the past few years.

In 2007 more than 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women suffered from being moderately overweight.

Seen over a longer period of record-keeping, the share of adults that are obese continues to rise.

In 20 years' time that percentage has more than doubled. Last year more than 11 percent of adults suffered from obesity. Women are more likely to be obese than men: 12 percent versus 10 percent.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

1 Comment To This Article

  • Vitor posted:

    on 18th March 2008, 16:08:06 - Reply

    Has anyone considered the economy has a big impact on these figures?

    I'd like to see results comparing the purchasing power through the last years, I believe it is steadily declining.

    In that sense, it is hard for most people to keep bad habits such as alcohol and specially tobacco (which is rightfully expensive in this country).

    Also, at the same time, means is easier to keep other bad habits such as junk food. All of us know that eating healthier costs more money, therefore nowadays we have more tendency to eat less healthy meals, because no ordinary pocket can keep up with all the rising expenses. Therefore, this could also cause an impact on obesity.

    Something to think about, no?