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ChiId obesity in Belgium 1997-2018

Because the Body Mass Index (BMI) changes with age, for children, the measure is placed on a standard gender-specific growth chart provided by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). According to this chart, five percent of Belgian children are considered to be obese in 2018. In other words, five percent of children in Belgium have a BMI situated above the 95th percentile for age, gender, and height.

Furthermore, the share of obese children was slowly increasing over the years. In 1997, roughly four percent of children were obese in Belgium, whereas in 2018, over five percent of them suffered from obesity. However, this increase was not steady, the share of obese children slightly decreased in 2008 and 2018.

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 obese 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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