The most recent Health Interview Survey (2018) has shown some alarming results:

  • only 30% spend at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate aerobic exercise
  • in the population of 6 years and older, only 33% eat the recommended amount of fruit and only 38% the recommended amount of vegetables
  • 49,3% of the population aged 18 years and older are overweight and 16% are obese
  • 15,5% of the population aged 15 years and older smokes every day. This percentage has improved compared to 2001 (24%)

Time trends show that the reported levels of smoking are declining but at the opposite rates of obesity are predicted to continue rising. In addition, less optimal health behaviours are more frequent in socially disadvantaged population groups. 

More information on the situation in Belgium can be found on the website of the Health Interview Survey.

Sciensano is first of all assessing the occurrence (prevalence) of lifestyle risk factors in the general population. In addition our institute is also evaluating their impact on the health status of the population, monitoring the evolution of these risk factors over time and studying the impact of the influence of environmental factors on healthy behaviour. 

Sciensano is also the national focal point of WHO, OECD and European institutions (such as Eurostat and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) for publication of...

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