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Evolution of the average BMI in Belgium from 1997-2018

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an index that evaluates the bodyweight of an adult. In Belgium, according to the results of this study (who have been weighted to represent the entire population), the BMI was steadily increasing from 1997 to 2018. For instance, the BMI of the Belgian population was 24.8 in 1997, whereas the BMI reached 25.5 in 2018. According to the classifications from the World Health Organization, a BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9 falls into the "pre-obesity" group. In other words, the average BMI in Belgium was over the recommendations in 2018 and has been since 2004.

Like any other measure, BMI is not a flawless indicator, especially because it only takes into consideration the weight and height and does not reflect the level of adiposity based on the exact age, physical activity, and gender. Nonetheless, a high BMI is correlated to various health conditions such as premature death, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, cancers, and diabetes.

Average Body Mass Index (BMI) of the Belgian adult population from 1997 to 2018

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

1997 to 2018

Number of respondents

9,594 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

The BMI of respondents is dividing the weight in kilograms by the height in meters, squared. The figures have been taken from several publications.

**The results have been weighted to represent the entire population of Belgium using a logistic regression by age and/or gender.

No proof of height and weight has been requested. Therefore, the figures are based on the respondent's statement.

The number of respondents varied from one year to another as follows:

1997: 8,373 respondents
2001: 9,788 respondents
2004: 10,653 respondents
2008: 9,127 respondents
2013: 8,944 respondents
2018: 9,594 respondents

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