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Overweight and psychological problems: what is the joint prevalence?

Overgewicht en psychische problemen. Hoe vaak komen ze samen voor? : Omvang beide aandoeningen in kaart gebracht


At the request of the Ministery of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has examined the joint prevalence of overweight and psychological problems, and the extent to which overweight people perceive psychological problems. In doing so, statistical analyses have been conducted using different Dutch databases. It appeared that overweight and psychological problems occur at the same time. The joint prevalence among children is less (1 percent) than among adults (5-9 percent). Among children, there is a clear linear association between body weight and psychological problems: the more weight, the more pscyhological problems they perceive. To illustrate, 19 to 29 percent of the obese children perceives psychological problems versus 6 to 19 percent among those with moderate overweight, and 5 to 15 percent among healthy weight children. Among adults, there is rather a J- or U shape pattern; psychological problems are most prevalent among those with obesity (16 tot 17 percent) and among those with underweight (8 tot 23 percent). This study has also determined the presence of overweight in combination with emotional exhaustion among Dutch employees. Of all Dutch employees, 6 perscent has a joint prevalence of these two health problems.

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