BMI evolution

In order to measure the total consumption of Flanders, we look at the average Body Mass Index (BMI) and how our food consumption is distributed over the different food categories. These indicators provide information about the relationship between calorie intake and calorie requirements of adults in Flanders.


  • In Flanders, the average BMI is 25.5 and 48% of adults are obese or overweight.
  • We see an excessive consumption of cheese, meat, fish, eggs, vegetarian substitutes and empty calories.

What do we see?

At 25.5, the average Flemish BMI is higher than the recommended score (between 18.5 and 25). This average has continued to increase over the last 20 years, as has the proportion of overweight and obese adults (see graph below). 

The consumption of empty calories is double the recommended amount. For cheese, meat, fish, eggs and vegetarian substitutes, we see that the consumption is 50% higher than what is recommended.

What’s the aim?

In a circular model, we aim for a low calorie intake because this means less food is needed, which reduces the impact our diet has on the environment. However, we cannot just reduce our calorie intake as this might have a negative impact on our health. The most obvious first step is to reduce our calorie intake for the types of food where our current intake is too high. 

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures two elements: our BMI and our daily consumption average. 

The BMI is a measure that allows us to determine whether an adult has a healthy weight based on their height. It is calculated as follows: weight/height2. This data is regularly brought up-to-date via Sciensano’s ‘health survey’. 

The daily consumption average is the total amount of food an adult consumes on a daily basis. This data is collected every 10 years through Sciensano’s ‘food consumption survey’.

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