BMI evolution

This indicator illustrates the evolution of the average Body Mass Index (BMI) of adults in Flanders.


  • In Flanders, the average BMI is 25.5.
  • 48% of adults are obese or overweight.

What do we see?

With a value of 25.5, the Flemish average BMI is higher than the recommended score (between 18.5 and 25). That average has continued to rise over the past 20 years, as has the proportion of overweight and obese adults: it was 40% in 1997 and 48% in 2018.

What’s the aim?

In the circular economy, we want to avoid overconsumption: after all, this implies the consumption of resources and associated impacts that are not strictly necessary. Average BMI is a proxy indicator for overconsumption of food: high values or an increase can be interpreted as the result of taking in more calories than needed. Lifestyle and other factors also affect BMI, of course, although these can sometimes also be reduced to intake versus consumption of calories.

What does this indicator measure?

BMI is a measure that allows us to determine whether an adult has a healthy weight based on their height. It is calculated as a person’s weight divided by the square of that person’s height. Average data for Flanders are periodically updated through the Health Survey conducted by Sciensano.

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Protein consumption

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34 kg/cap.

Household food waste

This indicator measures food loss in Flemish households.