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Share of overweight chiIdren in Belgium 1997-2018

For children, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is not classified in the same way than for adults. In addition to the weight and height measures that form the adult BMI, the measure is compared to other children of the same age and gender. In 2018, roughly 19 percent of children were considered overweight in Belgium. Because BMI changes with age, the BMI measure is placed on a standard gender-specific growth chart provided by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). According to this chart, an overweight child's BMI needs to be situated between the IOTF 85th percentile but less than the 95th percentile. From 1997 to 2018, an increasing share of Belgian children has been situated in these lines. Therefore, excess weight in children seems to be a growing phenomenon in the country.

Evaluating the growth allows the early detection of the risk of becoming overweight or obese, therefore allowing to take preventative measures and supporting the child and his family in a healthier lifestyle, balancing physical activity with an appropriate diet.

Share of overweight children according to their average Body Mass Index (BMI) in Belgium from 1997 to 2018

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

1997 to 2018

Number of respondents

1,881 respondents

Age group

2-17 years

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

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: 1,604 respondents
2001: 1,897 respondents
2004: 1,677 respondents
2008: 1,507 respondents
2013: 1,704 respondents
2018: 1,881 respondents

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