Above-average numbers of Limburgers are overweight.

“This is because there are many different individual characteristics that play a role”.

Professor Gijs Goossens was the guest on L1 News (17 April) to talk about the increase in the number of people with obesity. The latest figures from Statistics Netherlands (4 March 2024) show that 16 per cent of Dutch people aged 20 or older are obese, i.e. about 1 in 6 adults! That is the highest percentage ever and three times as many as in the early 1980s, when about 1 in 20 adults was obese.

When do we speak of obesity, what are the causes, why is maintaining weight loss after losing weight so difficult, and how can we prevent and/or treat obesity better?

"On the one hand, prevention of overweight/obesity is very important. There is also an important task for the government to do something about the obesogenic environment, for example, where we are tempted to eat unhealthy food everywhere (every street corner, supermarkets, railway stations, ...). 

In addition, we need to move towards a tailor-made approach: it is important to first identify the underlying causes of obesity (biological, socio-economic and/or psychological factors). Lifestyle plays an important role, but obesity is really not always about 'it's your own fault! It is important to understand more about this complex chronic disease, and to increase understanding of people with obesity, in order to reduce the prejudices that unfortunately exist," said Gijs Goossens.

Watch the interview (in Dutch) with Gijs here

Gijs was also a guest of Janna Hoofs and Ruben Weekers on this subject on the radio programme L1 Vandaag

Read more on the UM research on Obesity by Anne Roefs and Gijs Goossens on the MUMC+ website