April 16, 2024

Overweight is more prevalent among men than among women: 53 percent of the male and 47 percent of the female population are overweight. At 41 percent, men are more likely to be moderately overweight than women (31 percent). Obesity, on the other hand, is more common among women with a share of nearly 17 percent, versus 12 percent among men. The proportion of overweight adults has been stable for years.
In 2021, 5 percent of the adult population suffered from type 2 diabetes. The percentage of over-18s diagnosed with this type of diabetes was three times higher among those with moderate overweight (6 percent) and six times higher among those with obesity (12 percent) than among those without overweight (2 percent). In all age groups, type 2 diabetes is more prevalent among people who are (severely) overweight than among their peers without overweight.

Type 2 diabetes rates among adults, 2021
Leeftijd Gewicht Type 2 diabetes (%)
(18 yrs and over)
No overweight 2
(18 yrs and over)
Moderate overweight 6.5
(18 yrs and over)
Obesity 12.3
18 to 44 yrs No overweight 0.2
18 to 44 yrs Moderate overweight 0.7
18 to 44 yrs Obesity 4.4
45 to 64 yrs No overweight 2
45 to 64 yrs Moderate overweight 5.9
45 to 64 yrs Obesity 11.8
65 yrs and over No overweight 6.3
65 yrs and over Moderate overweight 14
65 yrs and over Obesity 22.5

In the period 2018-2021, overweight was seen more frequently among adults with an income below the low-income threshold than among adults with a higher income: 56 percent versus 51 percent. Nineteen percent of those on a low income suffered from obesity, versus 15 percent of those living above the low-income threshold.
Of the adult population with a long-term income below the low-income threshold, 60 were overweight, 40 percent were moderately overweight and 20 percent were obese. In addition, type 2 diabetes was also more widespread among those on a low or long-term low income (9 and 10 percent respectively).

Obesity and diabetes rates by income group, 2018/2021
Inkomen boven de lage inkomensgrens Long-term low income (% of persons aged 18 yrs and over) Low income (% of persons aged 18 yrs and over) Income above low-income threshold (% of persons aged 18 yrs and over)
No overweight 38.9 43.2 49.1
Moderate overweight 40.4 37.2 36
Obesity 20 19.1 14.5
Type 2 diabetes 10.4 8.7 5

In the group of moderately or severely overweight adults, type 2 diabetes was seen relatively more often among low incomes than among higher incomes. Among moderately overweight adults, 6 percent of those living above the low-income threshold had type 2 diabetes; this was 9 percent among the low incomes and 11 percent among the long-term low incomes. Among obese over-18s, this was 12 percent for those on an income above the low-income threshold, 18 percent for those on a low income and 23 percent for those with a long-term low income.

Type 2 diabetes rates by overweight and income group, 2021
Gewicht Inkomen Type 2 diabetes (% of persons aged 18 yrs and over)
No overweight Long-term low income 3.7
No overweight Low income 4
No overweight Income above low-income threshold 2.3
Moderate overweight Long-term low income 10.7
Moderate overweight Low income 9.3
Moderate overweight Income above low-income threshold 5.9
Obesity Long-term low income 22.6
Obesity Low income 18
Obesity Income above low-income threshold 12.2

The results have been taken from the National Health Survey. Based on a sample from the Personal Records Database (BRP), people were asked to complete a survey on perceived health, long-term conditions and height and weight, among other things. By linking with data on income from the Integral Income and Wealth Statistics (IIVS), it was determined whether survey participants were part of a household with (long-term) income below the low-income threshold.
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